Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill Unanimously Approved by Committee
On March 24, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee unanimously approved the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021
(DWWIA 2021). The legislation was introduced by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife; Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the EPW Committee; Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chair of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife; Tom Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the EPW Committee; and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
DWWIA 2021 authorizes more than $35 billion for water resource development projects across the country with a focus on upgrading aging infrastructure, addressing the threat of climate change, investing in new technologies, and providing assistance to marginalized communities.
Specifically, the bill reauthorizes the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs at substantially increased funding levels. The bill also reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, as well as the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants program.
The legislation also includes language promoted by APWA to help public works departments across the country access workforce development grants through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The language provides a definition for public works departments and agencies that specifically makes those entities eligible for these funds. Allowing public works agencies and departments to access these federal funds will provide needed assistance in identifying, training, and retaining the next generation of water sector professionals.
You can read APWA’s letter of support for the legislation here