Bipartisan Bills Supporting Clean Water Introduced during Infrastructure Week
Bipartisan legislation in support of water infrastructure was introduced in both the House and Senate last week in recognition of Infrastructure Week 2017.
In the House, leadership from the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee introduced the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act. This bill seeks to address the investment gap in wastewater, stormwater and water reuse. NACWA submitted a letter in strong support of this bill, which reauthorizes the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) at $4 billion per fiscal year through 2022 -- a significantly higher authorization than the roughly $1.4B the CWSRF received in recent fiscal years. The bill also authorizes funding for other valuable CWA projects, including grants for alternative water source projects (Sec. 220), combined and sanitary sewer overflow control and municipal stormwater reuse (Sec. 221), nonpoint source management (Sec. 319), watershed pilot projects (Sec. 122), state management assistance (Sec. 102), and assistance for rural, small and tribal communities. The bill was led by the Committee’s Ranking Member Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Committee’s Vice Chair Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), and the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA).
In the Senate, leadership from the Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW) introduced S.1137, the Clean, Safe, Reliable Water Infrastructure Act. This bill would reauthorize the Sewer Overflow Control Grants (Sec. 201) at $1.8 B over five years. The bill also includes a statement affirming the intent of ]Congress to provide robust support for the CWSRF. NACWA submitted a letter in support of this bill, which was led by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of EPW’s Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Chairman of EPW’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee.
NACWA is grateful for this bipartisan support for the various programs that advance clean water.