Oct 11, 2018

Congress Approves America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

The water infrastructure bill now awaits the president’s signature.

America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 passes Congress
America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 passes Congress

Updated on Oct. 28, 2019 with more information.

America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 was approved by Congress a little more than a year ago. Here’s an updated look at what the act does. 

It is designed to improve drinking water and quality, further infrastructure investments, enhance public health, increase jobs and help the economy, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Currently the act helps the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and authorizes the DWSRF to extend infrastructure loan terms. The act also requires community water systems, specifically those that serve more than 3,300 people, to develop or update a risk assessments and emergency response plan, according to the EPA website. 

Additionally, the act supplies funding to assist disadvantaged communities to reduce lead in drinking water and provides financial aid to homeowners for lead line replacement. The act also requires the EPA to conduct and complete a study within two years of its enactment to summarize compliance with National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for public water systems serving less than 1,000 people that have historically been identified as non-compliers, the EPA website said. 

According to the EPA, the 2018 provisions to the act are the “most far-reaching changes” to the Safe Drinking Water Act since 1996.

Most recently, the U.S. Senate is working toward giving the EPA its large budget in a decade, according to Bloomberg Environment, and if approved, the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Act state revolving funds would receive about $1 billion over enacted levels, with $41.5 million in authorized funds from America’s Water Infrastructure Act, according to Bloomberg.

The potential budget is $9.011 billion appropriation for the EPA, and if the House approves, it will be the agency’s second-highest budget in history, according to Bloomberg Environment.

 

Original copy from Oct. 11, 2018

Congress has approved America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, a bill set to provide more than $6 billion in funding for water infrastructure projects nationwide if signed by President Donald J. Trump.

 According to PBS News, the bill marks the most comprehensive infrastructure legislation passed this Congress and would authorize federal funds for water projects, including post-Harvey wetland restoration, the U.S. EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and hydropower projects.

 “This legislation invests in the critical water infrastructure we don’t see every day, but that American families in every state rely on, such as drinking water systems, dams, reservoirs, levees and ports,” said Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.). 

Additionally, the bill includes a provision that requires the government to prioritize low-income communities for lead testing programs, as reported by The Hill. It also de-authorizes spending on water projects that have been decided insufficient.

 “America needs comprehensive water infrastructure legislation that will cut Washington red tape, create jobs and keep communities safe,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.While the bill passed the Senate Wednesday, Oct. 10, it awaits the signature of President Donald J. Trump to be passed.

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