29 Oct BPC Action Applauds House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Markup of Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Bill in Infrastructure
States face protective water quality standards, costly enforcement actions, and aging infrastructure that require rehabilitation and replacement. They have a backlog of more than $40 billion in clean water infrastructure projects and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, need close to $300 billion of investment over the next 20 years to bring their systems to a state of good repair.
The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019, sponsored by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), John Katko (R-NY), and Don Young (R-AK), authorizes nearly $17 billion in infrastructure investment over five years.
“For too long, the crisis in U.S. wastewater infrastructure has been sight-unseen but affecting human health and our environment in dramatic and destructive ways,” says Michele Nellenbach, director of strategic initiatives at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The bipartisan legislation being marked up by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today is critical in helping communities meet water quality standards and fix their crumbling wastewater infrastructure.”
This bill will help communities afford critical system upgrades by capitalizing the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the primary source of federal financing for municipal clean water infrastructure, making it more flexible to meet local needs—whether green and other environmentally innovative projects, workforce development, or utility worker training and education programs.
The bill also prioritizes funding for small, rural, tribal, and other disadvantaged communities that are struggling to provide clean water services and keep rates affordable for low-income families.
BPC Action commends the bill’s sponsors for their commitment to improving our nation’s wastewater infrastructure and look forward to working with them for swift passage of this legislation.