President Donald Trump signed the much anticipated America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 on October 23. The bill became law less than two weeks after the Senate approved the massive water infrastructure funding legislation with a vote of 99-1.
The law includes bipartisan elements of bills passed by several Congressional committees, including the Secure Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act, the Drinking Water System Improvement Act, and other water infrastructure initiatives.
Acting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler released the following statement after President Trump signed the bill: “Ensuring all Americans have access to clean and safe water is a top priority of President Trump and his Administration. America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 will expand our investments in water infrastructure projects and enhance our efforts to reduce lead exposure and protect children. Through targeted financial assistance, we will support projects that protect our nation’s waterways and water supplies, create well-paying jobs, and help rural and urban communities thrive.”
S. 3021, reauthorizes the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for three years and more than doubles the loan program’s authorized spending to $1.95 billion by the third year. The law also authorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) for two years.
“The reauthorization of WIFIA at $50 million — and the fact that it is no longer a ‘pilot’ — is a significant milestone for the program and a great victory for the entire water sector,” said David LaFrance, American Water Works Association (AWWA) CEO. “AWWA’s members can be proud of their work to elevate the issue of water infrastructure renewal, craft a workable solution, and then refine and fund it.”
In addition to funding WIFIA, the SRF WIN Act, and the Drinking Water System Improvement Act, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 expands water storage capabilities; reduces flooding risks for rural, western, and coastal communities; and addresses significant water infrastructure needs in Tribal communities, according to the AWWA.