(July 31, 2018) – The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), released a legislative discussion draft last week for an infrastructure package focused on water and transportation sectors. The release of this House majority proposal comes at a time when the Senate is considering its Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) package, which encompasses Army Corps of Engineers, clean water and drinking water authorizations and provisions.
The new House proposal puts out a House Republican marker for potential negotiations with the Senate over a final WRDA package later this year. It also provides something of a counteroffer to the Trump Administration’s Infrastructure Plan, which was released in February and did not receive significant traction with Members of Congress.
The House proposal includes significant investments for clean water infrastructure, including many NACWA priorities. The discussion draft proposes:
- Reauthorizing the Clean Water State Revolving Fund at $3 Billion/fiscal year through 2023. If funded at $3B, this would reflect nearly a doubling of recent CWSRF funding relative to recent years.
Reauthorizing the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program at $50 Million/fiscal year, along with changes to ease WIFIA loan applications by State water infrastructure financing authorities and facilitate standing up of the Army Corps’ own WIFIA program through collaboration with EPA.
Enhancing technical assistance and financing for small and rural treatment works.
- Reauthorizing Clean Water Act Section 106 grants to States and Section 319 grants for nonpoint source management programs.
Formal authorization of EPA’s Clean Water Act Section 122 watershed-based planning grants and technical assistance.
Reauthorizing the Economic Development Administration, which supports public works along with other types of development investments.
NACWA is pleased by inclusion of these provisions in the Committee’s infrastructure proposal, which further affirm clean water infrastructure as a core component of the ongoing federal infrastructure investment conversation.
NACWA looks forward to continued engagement with the House on its proposals and continued work with the entire Congress to advance water infrastructure investment. Contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA Director of Legislative Affairs, to discuss.