Washington, DC (October 11, 2007)- The following is an excerpt of a letter sent to Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security and Water Quality) and David Vitter (Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security and Water Quality).
Dear Chairman Lautenberg:
The Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC) is writing to urge you to reauthorize and recapitalize the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) by following the lead of the U.S. House to pass a Senate version of the Water Quality Financing Act of 2007 (H.R. 720). This legislation restores $20 billion over the next five years to the clean water state revolving fund. It also reaffirms the federal commitment to clean water infrastructure and begins to address the estimated $300 to $500 billion funding gap between current expenditures and identified needs.
As you consider reauthorization, we urge you to include dedicated funding to expand the use of green infrastructure practices and strategies with state revolving funds. Green infrastructure is implemented in many forms but urban forestry is one of the most beneficial on several levels. Healthy urban trees absorb rainfall through their canopy and extensive root system. Trees slow and filter rain water and reduce storm water flow during storms and peak loads. In addition, more trees and green cover means less concrete, minimizes stormwater runoff, and provides buffer zones for flood-prone communities.
For example, in the Metropolitan Washington DC region, the existing 46 % tree canopy reduces the need for retention structures by 949 million cubic feet, valued at $4.7 billion per 20-year construction cycle (based on a $5/cubic foot construction cost).* Trees and green infrastructure provide a myriad of other environmental, health and economical benefits for urban areas with long-term benefits and pay-offs.
SUFC is composed of 16 national organizations representing a cross-section of city planners, educators, landscape architects, non-profit leaders, scientists, arborists, foresters, nurserymen and women, and many other professionals who care for, monitor and advocate for trees and our urban forests as a whole.
Alliance for Community Trees
American Public Works Association
International Society of Arboriculture
National Arbor Day Foundation
Tree Care Industry Association
Download the H.R. 720 Support Letter.