House Passes Water Resources Legislation

On June 6, the House voted 408-2 to pass H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act of 2018. The bipartisan legislation provides reauthorization for the Army Corps of Engineers and several Corps projects throughout the country. The bill would authorize seven new projects in four categories, would modify four existing projects, and allow the Corps to conduct feasibility studies for ten potential projects.The bill would also require the Corps to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to study the effects of moving the Corps from the Department of Defense to a new or different federal agency.

The House approved the bill in the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee by voice vote on May 23. A number of amendments were offered to the bill, though most were rejected due to being outside the scope of the legislation.

The House bill would need to be reconciled with S. 2800, which passed the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee by a vote of 21-0 on May 22. The Senate bill includes many of the same Corps projects and makes investments in water infrastructure, including drinking water and wastewater. The manager’s package passed on May 22 included S. 2364, the SRF WIN Act, which APWA supports. The Senate bill also contains language on the following issues:
  • Reauthorizing and increasing funding for the WIFIA program;
  • Codifying EPA’s integrated planning framework under the Clean Water Act;
  • Water infrastructure and workforce investment;
  • Creating a stormwater infrastructure funding task force; and
  • Providing a sense of the Congress relating to State Revolving Funds;
The Senate bill could see floor action as soon as the week of June 18.