Apr 03, 2020

House Democrats Seek Water Funding in Next Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

The next economic stimulus massive infrastructure bill seeks more than $25 billion to replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure 

coronavirus

In the next economic stimulus massive infrastructure bill to mitigate COVID-19 (coronavirus), House Democrats are seeking more than $25 billion to replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure.

This will also help households pay their water and sewer bills.

The House Democrats’ package also proposed $34.3 billion in grid security and modernization, including $4 billion over five years to fortify the electric grid, reported the Bloomberg Environment.

The previous stimulus, The CARES Act (H.R. 748), did not address renewables.

According to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, the next stimulus bill will protect against severe storms and other climate impacts, better accommodating more renewable energy. This would be the fourth virus-related legislative package, reported the Bloomberg Environment.

The water assistance effort, known as the Low income Household Drinking Water and Waste Water Assistance Program, would be funded at $1.5 billion.

“We must take bold action to renew America’s infrastructure,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Clean water, dependable drinking water, clean water and wastewater infrastructure are critical in the effort to limit the threat of the coronavirus.”

Massive increases in drinking water and other water infrastructure are included in the package, including $22.9 billion over five years in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF). A $2.5 billion grant program would also be created to help local drinking water systems combat contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), requiring the EPA to develop effective treatment techniques for removing the chemicals from drinking water.

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