House Passes Comprehensive Infrastructure Investment Legislation
Before recessing for the July 4th holiday, the House of Representatives passed the INVEST Act (H.R. 3684), a $700 billion highway, transit, and bridges bill that also carried clean water and drinking water infrastructure assistance programs, along a nearly party-line vote of 221- 201. The bill is expected to be the basis of what will likely be months of negotiations with the Senate on a final infrastructure bill. The Senate has yet to move forward on a comprehensive infrastructure bill that reflects the $1 trillion infrastructure investment framework agreement reached between a group of twenty Senators and the White House earlier this summer. As a result, congressional negotiations surrounding how to pass comprehensive infrastructure legislation will extend into the fall.
H.R. 3684 provides a substantial commitment to the water sector, including:
- $40 billion for the Clean Water SRF over 5 years
- $50 billion to support the removal of lead drinking water service lines
- $50 billion to support Drinking Water SRF
- $2 billion to support projects that capture, treat, or reuse sewer overflows or stormwater
- $2.5 billion in grants to state water pollution control programs
- Codifying the clean water “green reserve” that prioritizes investment in green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, and other activities that enhance resiliency of utilities to climate change
- Authorizing $1 billion for grants to construct alternative water supply and water recycling projects
- $1 billion in grants to municipalities to implement pretreatment standards for PFAS
- $500 million for grants to support clean water agencies adopt smart water technologies
- PFAS cleanup technology assistance
- Climate resiliency planning
House Appropriations Committee Advances FY2022 Spending Bills
The House Committee on Appropriations is continuing efforts to advance fiscal year (FY) 2022 spending bills ahead of the October 1 deadline when the new fiscal year begins. Before leaving for the July 4th recess, the committee approved and reported out the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Interior-Environment spending bill on a vote of 32-24. The bill now goes to the House floor for debate and a vote. The Interior-Environment bill is responsible for funding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) water infrastructure and resources programs. In total, the bill funds USEPA at $11.34 billion, which represents an increase of $2.11 billion above enacted FY2021. Additionally, the bill funds the U.S. Department of the Interior (USDOI) and provides the department with a total of $15.6 billion, which is an increase of $2.3 billion above FY2021 enacted levels. A detailed breakout of the bill’s programmatic funding provisions is outlined in the committee’s report.
This week, the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies reported out the FY 2022 Energy-Water Development appropriations bill by voice vote. The bill now goes to the full committee for markup and vote. The Energy-Water Development spending bill is responsible for funding the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) water infrastructure programs, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The bill provides a total of $53.226 billion, of which $1.95 billion is for USBR and. $8.66 billion for USACE. Within the USBR, $413 million in additional funding is provided for USBR’s water resources projects, including those authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, $191.4 million for WaterSMART programs, to assist western states and communities respond to increasingly harmful drought conditions, $55.7 million above the request is provided for rural water projects, and $33 million is provided to the California-Bay Delta Restoration.
The committee will publish its report for the Energy-Water Development spending bill ahead of a full committee markup of the bill scheduled for this Friday, July 16. The report will provide detailed funding breakouts for USBR’s water infrastructure assistance programs.