The Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) has named State Senator Eric Koch its Legislator of the Year for his efforts to address water issues across the state through legislative action. As a member of the Senate Committee on Utilities and previously as a Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications in the Indiana House of Representatives, Koch has taken a leadership role in promoting legislative policy to ensure Indiana residents and businesses can depend on quality, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater service.
“Indiana’s abundant water resources are a valuable asset that sets us apart from many other states,” said Sen. Koch. “They not only contribute to a high quality of life for Hoosiers, but also play a key role in the economic vitality of our state. It’s been a key focus of my service in the legislature to ensure that sound policy is in place to protect these water resources and utilize them in a way that benefits Hoosier consumers and businesses.”
According to Deborah Dewey, president of Indiana American Water, the state’s largest investor-owned water utility, “Senator Koch has long been a strong proponent for Hoosiers in advancing state water policy that ensures our water resources and infrastructure are meeting the needs of Indiana communities and that solutions are available to address challenges, especially when it comes to distressed water and wastewater utilities across the state.”
According to Koch, “Legislation I authored in 2015, and that we have built upon since then, incentivizes public-private partnerships as a means of helping distressed utilities before they get into crisis situations that could potentially result in financial insolvency or water quality and environmental compliance concerns.”
Koch authored legislation that was enacted in 2015 (House Enrolled Act 1319) that helps communities with distressed utilities sell their systems and receive fair market value for them. He also co-sponsored legislation that establishes a future test year to allow utilities to anticipate investment needs and addresses the full replacement of lead service lines.