Senate Passes Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure Bill


Includes Feinstein amendment to improve funding for water recycling projects

Washington—The Senate today passed the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, a bill to improve our nation’s water infrastructure.

The bill includes an amendment by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that allows more California water recycling projects to receive EPA funding.

Senator Feinstein released the following statement:

“Climate change and aging infrastructure are straining our nation’s water supply. That’s why we must invest now in clean drinking water for all of our communities.

“This bill authorizes more than $35 billion to update and repair aging infrastructure, particularly in historically underserved and marginalized communities.

“Water recycling is an important part of that effort. That is why I’m grateful the managers included my amendment to make it easier for water recycling projects to receive EPA funding.

“Currently, these projects are barred from EPA construction funds if they previously received any funding from the Bureau of Reclamation, even if that funding was only for feasibility studies or planning and design. My amendment lifts that restriction, ensuring these much-needed projects will have access to more federal funds.

“In California, we know all too well the importance of investing in water infrastructure. Our country is going face many unique water challenges in the decades ahead. It’s important that we plan for them now.”

Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act:

  • Authorizes $35 billion over five years for drinking water and wastewater cleanup projects with a focus on addressing the threat of climate change and assisting low-income and marginalized communities.
  • Provide states with increased funding and program flexibilities to invest in community water projects that address aging infrastructure and improve water quality through the State Revolving Loan Funds.
  • Connect households to public water and wastewater services, decentralized wastewater services, and improve sanitation in Alaskan rural and native villages.
  • Increase investments in lead abatement through grant programs and assistance.
  • Promote resiliency projects to address the impacts of climate change.
  • Increase investment to address recruitment, training, and retention challenges facing the water and wastewater utility workforce.
  • Invest in the drinking water and wastewater needs of tribal communities.
  • Provide significant investments in technical assistance and new and emerging technologies that result in cleaner, safer and more reliable water.

Senator Feinstein’s amendment:

  • Allows water recycling projects that received Bureau of Reclamation funding for studies to apply for EPA funding.
  • Given the $800 million backlog in the Bureau of Reclamation’s water recycling program, Senator Feinstein’s amendment will allow California water recycling projects access to an alternative source of funding through EPA.
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