April 26, 2021

End-of-Life Decisions for America's Aging Infrastructure

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

As the federal government and states announce plans to overhaul America’s infrastructure, Florida is recovering from the near-collapse of a phosphate-laden wastewater pond. While the pond didn’t fail catastrophically and flood more than 300 homes and businesses as feared, it did require high-cost emergency measures, evacuations and the routing of millions of gallons of untreated waste into Tampa Bay. 

The situation in Florida should remind us of the costs and consequences of ignoring our vast, aging and often obsolete infrastructure, writes Martin Doyle, director of the Nicholas Institute's Water Policy Program, in an op-ed for The Hill. However, decommissioning obsolete infrastructure presents an unusual opportunity to decrease long-term government spending, improve public safety and restore the environment, Doyle writes.