National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) recently honored the 2009 recipient of its prestigious “We Dig America Award”-Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-OR). The award is presented to a non-NUCA member who has made a significant contribution to the association and the underground utility construction industry as a whole. Additionally, the award is not presented annually, but only when a person of national stature whose actions have had a positive impact on the utility construction industry emerges.
Blumenauer was chosen for “his outstanding leadership to initiate and establish an enduring national source of financing dedicated to the improvement of America’s vital water and wastewater infrastructure.” NUCA Chairman Dan East and Past Chairman Lyle Schellenberg presented him with the award during NUCA’s Congressional Reception in the Rayburn Office Building on May 18.
Rep. Blumenauer has always had strong ties with NUCA, starting with his relationship with NUCA of Oregon and Southwest Washington. When he began his legislative initiative to provide a dedicated source of revenue for water and wastewater infrastructure NUCA was one of the first groups invited to the table. Now the effort has grown significantly in interest and visibility, and last year Mr. Blumenauer introduced the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act (HR 3202), which would establish a water infrastructure trust fund. He is a longtime champion of America’s infrastructure, and well deserving of the We Dig America award.
The oldest and largest national trade association working solely for the excavation and utility construction industry, the Arlington, Va.-based National Utility Contractors Association has a nationwide network of chapters and represents more than 1,750 company members that provide the workforce and materials to advance the water, sewer, gas, electric, telecommunications and construction site development industries across the country.