Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Releases Water Resources Development Act of 2020 and Drinking Water Legislation
This week, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee has released a draft of their bipartisan WRDA 2020 bill, entitled America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2020, which keeps Congress on track with the biennium WRDA reauthorization schedule. This bill authorizes $17 billion in infrastructure projects and reauthorizes the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund at increasing levels over the next three years. The Committee also released a draft of the Drinking Water Act of 2020, which includes $2.5 billion in federal authorizations and reauthorizes programs under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to provide resources and technical assistance to communities to help meet their drinking needs. Consideration of both bills in the full Senate is unclear at this time, while the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is still developing their own WRDA bill.
Our nation’s water resources systems are crucial to our economy, public safety, and the preservation and enhancement of our environmental resources. Our levees, dams, inland waterways, and ports protect hundreds of communities, support millions of American jobs, and generate trillions of dollars of economic activity. However, many of these infrastructure assets have reached the end of their design life, and the investment gap must be closed if we hope to both repair and modernize our water resources systems to be competitive in the 21st century. Passage of WRDA legislation is an important step in securing investments for these critical infrastructure systems.
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