May 05, 2020

Water Infrastructure Bills Move Ahead in Senate

Two bills moving ahead include America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020

storm water

Both chambers of Congress are moving ahead on water infrastructure legislation.

The bills reauthorize legislation on water resource development and the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to the Bloomberg Environment.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is also introducing a big water bill, according to a committee aide. These bills, which create funding for flood control and drinking water grants, are updated every two years by Congress.

A full committee markup on both water bills will be held May 6, according to the Senate environment panel. 

The Senate legislation includes the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. This bill authorizes $17 billion in infrastructure projects and reauthorizes the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund at increasing levels over the next three years.

The second bill, the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, would reauthorize programs under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This includes infrastructure that supports and improves drinking water.

The Senate drinking water infrastructure measure proposes approximately $2.5 billion in authorizations and $300 million in grants for cleaning drinking water from emerging contaminants, particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), reported the Bloomberg Environment.

The transportation committee’s focus would be narrower, focusing on reauthorizing funding for water projects and policy under the Water Resources Development Act, largely under the purview of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Bayley Sandy, spokesman for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said the transportation committee is focusing on reauthorizing funding for water projects and policy under the Water Resources Development Act, by the end of May. 

At a news conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested she is considering at least one water-related provision in the next COVID-19 (coronavirus) recovery package.

After meeting on a conference call, officials on Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Buffalo River Conservation Committee discussed the potential for improvements to unpaved roads and wastewater systems near the Buffalo River.

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