Urge Your Senator to Vote YES on S. 914!
This week the Senate will take up S. 914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 after the bill was unanimously voted out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last month. The bill marks the first serious infrastructure bill to come forward for full consideration this Congress.
The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 authorizes more than $35 billion through fiscal year 2026 for water development projects across the country, with a focus on upgrading aging infrastructure, addressing the threat of climate change, investing in new technologies, and providing assistance for disadvantaged communities. Many of the provisions included in this bill were passed in the Senate last year and included in House – Senate negotiations during the Water Resources Development Act conference. Unfortunately, the provisions did not make it into the final WRDA bill due to a lack of time, not a disagreement on policy.
Specifically the bill would:
- Reauthorize the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to $3.25 billion by FY26
- Reauthorize the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act at $50 million annually.
- Reauthorize the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants program at $280 million annually.
- Provide up to $140 million annually in assistance to small and disadvantaged communities and $50 million annually for a state competitive grant program for underserved communities.
- Provide $100 million annually to reduce lead in drinking water and $50 million annually for resilience and sustainability.
- Create a wastewater efficiency grant pilot program and establish a clean water infrastructure resilience and sustainability program at $25 million annually.
- Direct a Clean Water Infrastructure Needs Survey 18 months after enactment of the bill and then once every 4 years thereafter.
ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure rated the overall condition of the nation’s infrastructure a cumulative grade of “C-” across 17 categories. Unfortunately, many of the nation’s water systems remain in the “D” range with wastewater receiving a “D+,” stormwater receiving a “D,” and drinking water receiving a “C-.” ASCE believes our lawmakers must prioritize the investment needs of our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure public health, a strong economy, and clean and safe water sources. Therefore, we strongly support S. 914, which would make these critical investments in some of our nation’s most vital infrastructure systems.