Senate Passes Infrastructure Spending Bill

  • by Matt Veeh
  • Oct 10, 2018
  • Water News

The Senate today passed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA), S 3021, by a vote of 99-1. This bipartisan bicameral bill passed the House on Sept. 13 and now awaits President Trump’s signature.

The bill includes numerous ACWA supported provisions for the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The legislation also begins the process of establishing a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (WIFIA) loan program for Bureau of Reclamation projects. Passage of this bill marks the return to a two-year cycle for authorizing Army Corps of Engineer projects.

The bill authorizes $6.1 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water projects, would direct the Corps to assess the viability of using forecast-informed reservoir operations including for atmospheric rivers, would reauthorize the National Dam Safety Act, and would extend the authority for non-federal partners to contribute funds to expedite the permit review process.

The bill also authorizes $4.4 billion for EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund over the next three years and would make it easier for disadvantaged communities to use this funding. Additionally, the bill would remove WIFIA’s pilot designation and authorize $100 million for the program over the next two years.

Other ACWA supported provisions in the bill include a water infrastructure workforce development program, an innovative water technology grant program, and several new grant programs to help disadvantaged communities provide safe drinking water.

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