DENVER -- The American Water Works Association (AWWA) today applauded the U.S. Senate’s support for reinvesting in the nation’s water infrastructure with its inclusion of significant funding for two key programs in water resources legislation.
The Senate approved S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act or WRDA, today. The House is still working on its own version of a WRDA bill.
“The U.S. Senate took an important stand today, saying it strongly supports reinvestment in the nation’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure,” said AWWA CEO David LaFrance. “We encourage the House to pass its WRDA bill so that a House-Senate conference can convene as soon as possible to get this bill done before Congress adjourns.”
A key water infrastructure element in S. 2848 are a provision of $70 million so the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program, or WIFIA, can start making actual loans. In the two previous fiscal years, Congress has provided funds for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set up WIFIA administration. Another important element is $100 million to the state revolving loan fund program to assist communities where there has been a drinking water emergency, such as Flint, Mich.
The Senate WRDA bill also contains provisions regarding public education and notification about lead contamination.
“We look forward to working with House and Senate conferees to make sure the education and notification provisions work in the field and dovetail with the upcoming revisions to the federal Lead and Copper Rule,” LaFrance said.
Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.