U.S. Senate Passes Key Water Infrastructure Legislation

April 29, the U.S. Senate passed S. 914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, in a bipartisan 89-2 vote. This critical water infrastructure legislation, which APWA supports, would authorize $35 billion over 5 years in funding and financing of water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Reauthorization of Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) at increased funding levels
  • Reauthorization of Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans
  • Reauthorization of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water workforce development program with increased funding, and establishment of public works agencies as an eligible recipient of this funding
  • Reauthorization of Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants program
  • Authorization of a new lead mapping pilot program
  • Authorization of a new Clean Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability grant program to increase water utility resilience against disasters and cybersecurity threats

Two bipartisan amendments to the bill were also passed by voice vote prior to final passage:

  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) amendment to modify EPA’s Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities program to allow states to assist households impact by unregulated contaminants including PFAS
  • Senator John Kennedy’s (R-LA) amendment to direct the EPA to commission a study on boil water advisories

Passage of this important bill was aided by the outreach of APWA members, who responded to APWA’s action alert and sent over 300 messages to their senators urging passage of this legislation. The bill will now serve as a basis for bicameral negotiations with the House of Representatives on a broad water infrastructure package.

You can find APWA’s letter of support here. If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please reach out to APWA Government Affairs Manager Michael Altman at maltman@apwa.net or (202) 218-6727.