Senate Committee Approves Water Resources Bill

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today unanimously approved a substitute or managers amendment (attached) of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020.  AWIA is the Senate version of the Water Resources Development Act.  A copy of the bill is attached.  The Senate Committee also unanimously approved the Drinking Water Infrastructure At of 2020 as well.   

NAFSMA submitted comments on the discussion draft of the 2020 AWIA last week.

Below is the Senate EPW Press Release on today’s action. 

EPW Committee Unanimously Advances Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation

May 6, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE) released the following statements on the committee’s passage of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA 2020) and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. The legislation as amended passed the committee by a vote of 21 to 0.

The bills were introduced by Barrasso, Carper, and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). 

“Our committee has taken a significant step to improve our dams, ports, flood-prevention infrastructure, reservoirs, and drinking water systems,” said Barrasso. “America’s Water Infrastructure Act and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act will create jobs and grow our economy. The legislation will help ensure American-made goods are safely shipped from one state to another and that the water Americans are drinking is safe. These bills, along with our bipartisan highway infrastructure legislation, should be considered by the full Senate, after the immediate health crisis is behind us. I am thankful to Ranking Member Carper and all the members of our committee for working with me to advance these important water infrastructure bills.”

“Every American relies on water infrastructure. Millions of Americans across the country rely on Army Corps of Engineers projects to safely navigate our waters, stay safe from flooding and storm damage, and reap the benefits of healthy aquatic ecosystems and marshlands,” said Carper. “Our country’s drinking water and wastewater systems, shipping channels and flood control structures are essential to our economy and way of life, but they are also in desperate need of improvements and investments. America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 will make badly needed improvements and investments in water infrastructure systems throughout the country.  I thank Chairman Barrasso for his leadership and partnership in this effort, and look forward to the work ahead of us.” 

AWIA 2020 provides roughly $17 billion in new federal authorizations to invest in our infrastructure for projects across the country. It cuts red tape by setting a two year goal for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to complete its feasibility studies for potential projects, consistent with the standard set by President Trump. 

The Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 reauthorizes Safe Drinking Water Act programs that support drinking water infrastructure and provide resources and technical assistance to communities facing critical drinking water 0needs. 

Barrasso and Carper serve as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW). Capito and Cardin serve as chairman and ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Cramer and Duckworth serve as chairman and ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife. 

Read text of AWIA 2020 substitute amendment here

Read text of Barrasso and Carper’s amendment to AWIA 2020 substitute amendment here

Read text of the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 substitute amendment here

Read text of Barrasso and Carper’s amendment to the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 substitute amendment here

Background Information: 

On April 21, 2020, Barrasso, Carper, Capito, Cardin, Cramer, and Duckworth released draft bills of AWIA 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020.