APWA Applauds Release of Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation


Late Monday night, leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a compromise version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The new bill, S. 3021, “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018” includes bipartisan elements of bills passed by all three of those committees, including the Secure Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act, the Drinking Water System Improvement Act, and other elements related to water infrastructure.
 
Including the SRF WIN Act will allow state SRF programs to use the leveraging power of the WIFIA program, which is critical, as the state financing authorities are all AAA bond rated. These elements allow for states to leverage at a ratio of over 100:1, i.e. for every federal dollar invested, 100+ non-federal dollars are available. Inclusion of the Drinking Water Systems Improvement Act reauthorizes the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program and increases funding levels over the next three years. In addition to these two elements which APWA has advocated for in the 115th Congress, the following items are included in the legislation:
  •  Clean, safe, reliable water infrastructure (Sec. 2002);
  • Study on intractable water systems (Sec. 2003);
  • Drinking water infrastructure resilience and sustainability (Sec. 2005);
  • Asset management (Sec. 2012);
  • Community water system risk and resilience (Sec. 2013);
  • Authorization for grants for state programs (Sec. 2014);
  • State revolving loan funds (Sec. 2015);
  • Report on Federal cross-cutting requirements (Sec. 2019);
  • Stormwater infrastructure funding task force (Sec. 4101);
  • Sewer overflow control grants (Sec. 4106);
  • Reauthorization of the WIFIA program (Sec. 4201); and
  • Water infrastructure and workforce investment (Sec. 4304).

With the release of the new text, which has the support of leadership from both chambers and parties, the House is expected to vote on the bill as soon as tomorrow (9/12). The Senate would then take up the bill the following week (of 9/17), and pass the bill by unanimous consent.
 
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Government Affairs Manager Sean Garcia at sgarcia@apwa.net or 202-218-6734.