House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Passes Wastewater Bill
June 9, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act, H.R. 1915. The bill passed by a vote of 42-25 with some bipartisan support (five Republicans voted in favor) and would invest approximately $50 billion in wastewater infrastructure over the next 5 years. APWA supports this legislation’s efforts to address our nation’s critical wastewater infrastructure needs and help public works professionals safeguard public health through effective water treatment. APWA’s letter of support outlines the key provisions for public works, including:
$40 billion over five years for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund
$2 billion over five years for Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants
$1 billion in grants to treat emerging contaminants including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
$1 billion in grants for alternative water source projects such as wastewater/stormwater reuse
$1 billion for pilot programs for watershed-based efforts to deal with major wet weather, stormwater, and climate resiliency issues
Commissions a study by the EPA on wastewater workforce development needs
During the markup, Congressman Garrett Graves (R-LA), proposed a bipartisan amendment, supported by Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) among others, that would extend National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit terms from 5 to 10 years for states and municipalities. Congressman Graves ultimately withdrew the amendment but obtained a verbal commitment from T&I Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to continue negotiations. APWA supports this provision to streamline the permitting process to ensure efficient delivery of important wastewater infrastructure projects.
Chairman DeFazio stated his intent for the legislation to proceed through regular order, including a conference committee with the Senate. The Senate previously passed its drinking and wastewater bill S. 914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, on April 28. S. 914 would also fund critical drinking water and wastewater programs, though at significantly lower levels. APWA previously issued a letter of support for this legislation.
APWA Government Affairs will continue outreach to Congress on a bipartisan basis to ensure passage of critical water infrastructure legislation in alignment with the Association’s 117th Congress Water Resiliency Public Policy Priorities. Please contact APWA’s Government Affairs Manager Michael Altman at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about APWA’s advocacy on water resiliency issues.