This editorial letter appeared in November/December 2021 issue as "Reflections on 2021"
It has been quite a year.
Coming off of a tumultuous 2020, 2021 brought back a slight sense of normalcy. Though the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting us, we found a way to move forward.
In 2021, the storm water industry hit a few milestones. In March, storm water was included as its own category for the first time on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. For its first grade, storm water earned a D.
We also saw the introduction of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. As of writing this, the House of Representatives hasn’t voted on the bill, but the Senate passed the bill in August. If passed by the House, the bill would provide funding to certain storm water improvements, including $1.4 billion over five years for the U.S. EPA Sewer Overflow & Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program, of which no less than 25% will go to rural and financially disadvantaged communities; in addition to $50 million for storm water infrastructure planning/development and implementation grants; and more.
On more of a ground level, we saw the return of some in-person events. While some shows remained virtual or took place as hybrid events, it was nice to see some industry folks in person again.
To gauge how these events impacted the industry, we typically would present our State of the Industry results in this issue. However, we have moved the publication of those results to our January 2021 issue. We wanted more time to collect results to get a better understanding of how the year, a busy year at that, went for the industry. However, we are including in this issue some of the results of a residential survey we conducted. We sent out a nine question survey to those in the residential market to see how storm water practices and management impact their work. You can read more about those results on page 16. And, please check out our January issue for the full results of our State of the Industry survey.
I hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season!