U.S. Senator, Rep Introduce Water Infrastructure Bill
Legislation Would Create A New $5 Billion Grant Program to Help State, Local, and Tribal Governments Pay for Water System Projects
U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) today announced legislation to help repair the nation’s aging water infrastructure. The Promoting Infrastructure and Protecting the Economy (PIPE) Act would create a new grant program to help communities in New York and across the country invest in critical water system upgrades. The bill would authorize $5 billion over 10 years to provide discretionary grants to state and local governments, tribal governments, and public water utilities for projects related to drinking water and waste water infrastructure. The PIPE Act would allow communities to continue to provide clean water for their residents and reliable water systems that help promote economic development.
“Access to functional, clean, and safe water infrastructure is not a luxury, it is an economic necessity. I continue to hear from farmers and business owners across NY-19 about the need to update water and wastewater infrastructure, and the prohibitive costs associated with these projects in rural areas,” said Representative Delgado. “I’m proud to lead the House version of the Promoting Infrastructure and Protecting the Economy (PIPE) Act to create a new discretionary grant program to fund local drinking water and sewer projects. This legislation is long overdue, and will ensure NY-19 and communities across the country can build the new water systems they need to improve quality of life and revitalize their economies.”
“Too many communities in New York and across the country have water pipes that are old and leaking, lack sewer systems, and have outdated technology that isn’t doing a good enough job of providing clean drinking water to their residents and of keeping wastewater from polluting the environment,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our communities need to be able to invest in projects that ensure their water systems are up to date. The PIPE Act would create a new discretionary grant program that funds drinking water and sewer projects so that communities can have the resources they need to fix their broken water infrastructure. This will help ensure that our communities have the resources they need to rebuild broken water systems and to provide reliable sources of water for generations to come.”
According to a 2017 report by the New York State Office of the Comptroller, New York State drinking water and wastewater infrastructure will require tens of billions of dollars in investment in the coming decades. Wastewater treatment facilities are, on average, 30 years old, and 30 percent of the underground sewers are over 60 years old and operating beyond their useful life expectancy.
Grants funded through the PIPE Act could be used to construct, replace, or repair public drinking water and waste water treatment facilities. This could include projects to repair or replace water pipes, projects to ensure drinking water sources comply with water quality regulations, and projects that promote water conservation and efficiency.
Specifically, the PIPE Act would do the following: