Senate Approves Major Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill

President Joe Biden's more comprehensive $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan is on deck as he's scheduled to tour a water treatment facility in New Orleans in promotion of the proposal

In a rare show of bipartisan cooperation, the U.S. Senate has passed the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021, which would authorize more than $35 billion for drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and reuse infrastructure.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 89-2 in the Senate, will head to the House of Representatives next. After passing both houses of Congress, the goal is to negotiate a final agreement by early summer for inclusion into the larger infrastructure package that is expected later this year.

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 will authorize strong annual water infrastructure investment to help boost federal water infrastructure support, including the first-ever reauthorization of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund at a level totaling $14.6 billion over five years. It also would give reauthorization to the Drinking Water State Revolving fund starting at $2.4 billion in 2022 and increasing annually until it’s $3.25 billion for fiscal years 2025 and 2026.

The bill also would authorize grant programs for lead service line replacement in schools, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) treatment, and numerous other programs. For a bullet-point list of the bill’s highlights, visit the Water Environment Federation website.

American Jobs Plan

In promotion of the larger $2.3 trillion infrastructure package, titled the American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden is expected to tour the Carrollton Water Treatment Plant in New Orleans this week. That plan includes an unprecedented $111 billion investment into water/wastewater infrastructure.

Some highlights of the American Jobs Plan include:

• A proposal to eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in the country by calling for $45 billion in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and in Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act grants.
• Modernization of aging drinking water, stormwater and wastewater systems by scaling up existing, successful programs, by calling for $56 billion in grants and low-cost flexible loans to states, tribes, territories and disadvantaged communities across the country.
• A proposal to include $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water and to invest in rural small water systems and household well and wastewater systems, including drainage fields.


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