U.S. Congress Passes America’s Water Infrastructure Act

November 25, 2018

Laws & Regs

In October, the U.S. Senate passed the biennial Water Resources Development Act. The bi-partisan legislation includes major provisions that benefit drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure and policy.

The U.S. House of Representatives also passed a version of the bill, known as America’s Water Infrastructure Act (S. 3021), in September. The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and its members have supported and advocated for the legislation for several years.  

The bill will provide a 2-year extension to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program and authorize $50 million per year to support the program. It also includes the creation of a new stormwater financing federal taskforce. Other major provisions include

  • authorization of $25 million per year in grants to nonprofit entities to provide technical assistance to small publicly owned treatment works;
  • authorization of $225 million per year for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 in grants to states and directly to municipal entities for projects on combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, and stormwater infrastructure;
  • reauthorization of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for 3 years at $4.424 billion;
  • a new 2-year, $8 million grant program for small and disadvantaged communities to support drinking water infrastructure;
  • formal authorization of EPA’s WaterSense program; and
  • a new grant program to provide $1 million per year in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 to eligible organizations to provide water workforce job training.
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