Senate Panel Passes Drinking Water, Wastewater Treatment Bill

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has unanimously passed the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure ACT of 2021 — a bill that's seen vocal support from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies for its efforts to increase funding in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

The following provisions were included in the bill and supported by NACWA:

• Reauthorization of the CWSRF at $14.5 billion over five years.

• Reauthorization of Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants at $1.4 billion over five years.

• Directing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess low-income water needs around the country and authorization of a pilot program to develop and implement programs to assist low-income households in maintaining access to affordable and reliable clean water services.

• Reauthorization of WIFIA at $250 million over five years.

• Reauthorization of the Water Workforce Infrastructure grants program at $25 million over five years.

• Establishment of a new Clean Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Program authorized at $225 million over five years.

• Authorization of a U.S. EPA study that examines the state of existing and potential future technologies — key components of the bipartisan Advanced Research Projects Agency – Water.

• Authorization of $5 million for U.S. EPA to complete an updated Clean Watersheds Needs Survey.

• Authorization of a U.S. EPA pilot program to assist with 15 public clean water utility projects to create or improve waste-to-energy systems.

• Reauthorization of the Alternative Water Source Projects Program at $225 million over five years.

Reauthorizing core water programs including the CWSRF has been a priority for years, and NACWA applauded the bipartisan efforts by the committee to advance the reauthorizations early. As the President and Congress consider approaches to a transformative infrastructure investment package, these reauthorizations help position core water programs for funding.

“Now, we must look forward to working with President Biden and Congress to ensure public clean water infrastructure is front and center in the upcoming infrastructure package," says Adam Krantz, CEO of NACWA. "For too long, water utilities have been left without a strong federal partner and have had to pay for critical capital investments by raising rates on households already struggling with income insecurity. I am confident that this next infrastructure package will place clean water needs alongside other critical infrastructure sectors, where it rightfully belongs.”


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