WASHINGTON, D.C. — A broad group of stakeholders have voiced support for S. 2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
America’s Water Infrastructure Act supports our nation’s economic competitiveness by increasing water storage, providing protection from dangerous floodwaters, cutting red tape, deepening nationally significant ports, and maintaining the navigability of inland waterways across the country. The legislation is also fiscally responsible and increases state and local stakeholder input for water infrastructure projects.
The legislation was introduced by U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), committee ranking member Tom Carper (D-DE), Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Subcommittee ranking member Ben Cardin (D-MD).
What They Are Saying About the Legislation:
“America’s Water Infrastructure Act will make communities safer and grow our economy by improving the nation’s water infrastructure. President Trump has made addressing the nation’s aging dams, levees, water systems, and ports a top priority. This bipartisan legislation answers the president’s call. Projects included in the bill would make a positive impact in Wyoming by increasing water storage; protecting communities from dangerous ice jam floods; and by upgrading old water systems. Let’s use this opportunity to pass major water infrastructure legislation that will help keep our nation prosperous.” – Chairman John Barrasso
“Since 2010, we’ve witnessed the longest-running economic expansion in our nation’s history, but if we want this record growth to continue through 2018 and into the next decade, investments in our decades-old infrastructure will be crucial. Beyond what we think of as traditional infrastructure of roads, highways and bridges, our water infrastructure – waterways, ports, dams, levees, drinking and wastewater systems and natural infrastructure along our coasts - touches every single sector of our economy and nearly every American household. In Delaware, our economy relies on a modern port in Wilmington and healthy beaches along our coast, and our communities expect and deserve clean drinking water for their families. This bipartisan bill reflects the vital importance water infrastructure plays in Delaware and every community across the country. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this legislation through Congress and begin making these long overdue investments in our nation’s water infrastructure and our economy.” – Ranking Member Carper
“One of our constitutionally required duties is to maintain our nation’s critical infrastructure. This bipartisan water infrastructure act will support our inland waterways and water resources, provide for greater state and community input and promote economic development and interstate commerce. We’ve seen firsthand how past water infrastructure bills have developed and protected communities in Oklahoma through the Tulsa levees and the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). I am especially pleased that this legislation builds on my efforts from the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act to repair and modernize the nation’s aging drinking water and wastewater systems.” – Senator Jim Inhofe
“Every community— urban, rural and suburban neighborhoods — has a right to expect that water coming from their tap is safe to drink and that Congress will do everything within its power to ensure that happens. Clean water means good jobs and better health. Clean water is not a partisan issue and I have been proud to work with my colleagues to develop legislation that will benefit water resources and infrastructure nationwide. Congress has a responsibility as a strong partner with states and localities to repair our nation’s hidden water infrastructure and open waterways.” – Senator Ben Cardin
“Sir, in my opinion it will. It addresses several things, including more work with the local sponsors, director work with local sponsors, and input from local sponsors. We’ve been lacking that for many years now… Then the work you’ve put into this bill in terms of moving obstacles away from the Corps, so that we can do the job better, as you direct it.” - R.D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, when asked if the legislation would help fulfill key principles outlined by President Trump
“As America’s leading advocates for significant, fiscally responsible, investment in our nation’s water infrastructure we are committed to working with you to deliver the America’s Water Infrastructure Act to the President’s desk this year.” – 26 national water infrastructure, conservation, and labor organizations including: National Association of Clean Water Agencies, American Council of Engineering Companies, Ducks Unlimited, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Laborers International Union of North America, Water Infrastructure Network and several others
“Extreme hydrologic events – marked by drought on one end, and floods on the other – will require everyone in the West to adopt a new paradigm, one that truly promotes wise management of this limited and valuable resource. This new paradigm will also mean additional investment in technology, conservation and new water storage and management infrastructure in order to deal with the uncertainties that lay before us. We believe the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 prepared by your committee shows a strong commitment to existing and future water infrastructure, recognizes the unique challenges faced by rural communities, and takes strong strides to address those challenges.” – Pat Riley, advisory committee member, Family Farm Alliance
“Rural and small town USA depends on this committee to ensure that the interests of rural communities are contained in federal legislation. The ‘Great Compromise’ of 1787 that allows for proportional representation of states, including very rural states, in federal policy is alive and well in this committee and in your legislation. Thank you for that, Senators Barrasso, Carper, Inhofe and Cardin. Rural America is very appreciative for the very helpful and beneficial provisions in your water legislation, “American’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” and we urge its passage and enactment.” – Dennis Sternberg, executive director, Arkansas Rural Water Association on behalf of the National Rural Water Association
“On behalf of the nation’s mayors, cities, and counties, we applaud the bipartisan efforts of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for introducing America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. This bill is a positive step to ensure Congress continues the two-year authorization cycle for the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and we urge Congress to enact a bill by the end of the year… Provisions that will help communities improve our nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and improve storm water management. Provisions such as codification of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Planning framework will help local governments and water utilities meet their Clean Water Act requirements in a more holistic manner.” – U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, & National Association of Counties
“We are pleased with many of the provisions that have been included in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, or WRDA 2018, including reauthorization of the National Dam Safety Program and the National Levee Safety Program. We are also pleased with the bill’s important alternative financing and delivery mechanisms, including a reauthorization of the WIFIA program, and we urge the USACE to continue its implementation of the WIFIA program.” – Kristina Swallow, president, American Society of Civil Engineers
“This bill champions restoration efforts in important places for birds and people like the Everglades, Great Lakes and the lower Mississippi River. We’d like to thank Senators Barrasso, Carper, Inhofe and Cardin for their leadership on this bill.” – Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president for conservation policy, National Audubon Society
“This legislation would ensure the viability of many programs and projects related to water infrastructure, including navigation, water resources management, recreation, and infrastructure and environmental stewardship. Moving this bill forward would be an important first step toward providing critical economic and environmental benefits to the nation.” – Elizabeth Mendenhall, president, National Association of Realtors
“On behalf of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and our 150-member organizations, we thank you for introducing S. 2800, the bipartisan America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. We appreciate the support this committee has shown for restoring and protecting the Great Lakes and are grateful to see the Great Lakes provision in this bill. We also appreciate the committee’s attempt to stay on a regular cycle for addressing our nation’s water infrastructure needs.” – Todd Ambs, coalition director, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition
“On behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), I would like to thank you for the introduction of S. 2800, “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” and continuing the biennial passage of a water resources development authorization bill. This bipartisan bill is positive step forward as Congress looks to address our nation’s water infrastructure needs. As such, AGC is supportive of the legislation and encourages the committee to report it favorably.” - Sean O’Neill, vice president, Associated General Contractors of America
“The Army Corps of Engineers is a valued partner in managing states’ waters and beaches through navigation, environmental restoration, flood control and other projects. Without this legislation the partnership that so many across the country sees as vital to their respected economic growth is stymied.” – The Honorable Jeffrey Bullock, secretary of state, State of Delaware
“All these elements, combined with language enabling the Army Corps of Engineers to undertake important projects throughout the country, combine to make S. 2800 a positive step in finding solutions to our nation’s water infrastructure problems” – William B. Mills, Jr., president, American Public Works Association
“This legislation provides opportunity to rethink how and why we as a nation invest in critical water resources. The many damaging coastal storms of the past few years clearly remind us why taking care of our coastal defenses is a vital need. We continue to need to invest in well planned and engineered defenses against storms and use natural features to do so as often as we can. This bill takes us a needed step forward in improving our coastal defenses.” – Anthony Pratt, president, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association
On May 17, 2018, the EPW Committee held a legislative hearing on America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
On May 9, 2018, the EPW Committee held a legislative hearing on America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
Read the text of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 here.