Senate Committee Releases Draft Water Infrastructure Bills
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released the text of two water infrastructure bills. The first, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020
, deals with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects and infrastructure regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The second, the Drinking Water Act of 2020
, deals with infrastructure and programs regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
The draft CWA bill would authorize roughly $17 billion to increase water storage, improve flood protection, deepen U.S. ports, and repair aging wastewater and irrigation systems. Specific provisions included in the legislation include:
Reauthorization of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) for FY 2021 at $2 billion, FY 2022 at $2.5 billion, and FY 2023 at $3 billion;
Reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program through FY 2024 at $50 million per year;
Reauthorizes the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program for FY 2021-22 at $250 million;
Reauthorizes the Water Workforce grant program from America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 through FY 2024 at $2 million per year;
Creates a grant program for low and moderate income individuals with decentralized wastewater systems at $15 million per year for FY 2021 and FY2022;
Creates a grant program to cover costs incurred from connecting households to municipal and private wastewater systems at $20 million per year for FY 2021 and FY 2022; and
Creates a discretionary grant program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Publicly-Owned Treatment Works (POTW) at $50 million through FY 2024.
The draft SDWA bill includes roughly $2.5 billion in federal authorizations for water projects, including those under the Safe Drinking Water Act, giving local communities additional technical assistance to improve water quality, including:
Language requiring states to use 20% of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) funding for grants, negative interest loans, and debt acquisition;
Establishes an Operational Sustainability program under SDWA for public water systems, funded at $10 million through FY 2024; and
Establishes a lead mapping pilot program to help communities find and map lead service lines in use in their drinking water systems, funded at $10 million to be used until expended.
With social distancing procedures in place, the Committee is holding a “paper hearing” on the bills on April 22. Comments on the legislation may be submitted to the Committee by May 1
. It is unclear when the bill will be marked up.
Please visit the Committee website to see a one-page summary
, section-by-section of the CWA bill
, and section-by-section of the SDWA bill