Last week, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works released an initial draft of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, formerly referred to as the Water Resources Development Act. The biennial legislation has bipartisan support with senior leadership of the committee sponsoring. Committee hearings took place May 9 with additional hearings set for May 22 and a bill markup anticipated on May 24. CASA advocated for several elements in the bill.
- Renewal of the WIFIA program for an additional two years, a $50 million allocation for each future fiscal year (2020 and 2021) and direction for a Government Accountability Office study on ways to make WIFIA more attractive to small, rural, tribal and disadvantaged communities.
- Authorization for Integrated Plans to enhance compliance with the Clean Water Act and new criteria to address affordability related issues.
- Funding for states to support water resources research activities, including water recycling and energy use efficiency, renewal of the USEPA WaterSense Program and a “Sense of Congress” provision that the SRF must be provided robust funding.
CASA will continue to track this legislation and weigh in on issues of importance to our members as it moves to markup and conference.