WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today voted in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, bipartisan legislation that makes significant investments in West Virginia and our nation’s core infrastructure. Ranking Member Capito served as the Republican floor manager throughout the debate process.
Additionally, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is built around two critical infrastructure bills crafted by the EPW Committee—the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 (STRA), which passed the committee unanimously, as well as the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA 2021), which passed the EPW Committee unanimously and the Senate 89 to 2.
“After months of negotiating and a long amendment process where both parties were able to have their voices heard, the Senate voted in a bipartisan way to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This legislation reflects our commitment to keeping Americans safe, improving our global competitiveness, and growing our economy. It also includes transformative wins for West Virginia and our entire nation.
“I’m incredibly proud that the foundation of this legislation is based off of two bipartisan bills crafted by our EPW Committee—the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act and the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act. This process also was built upon discussions and negotiations I had with the White House over several weeks to define our infrastructure needs. The inclusion of our bills in the package means West Virginia will receive funding for programs and areas I have long supported, like roads, bridges, water and wastewater projects, construction of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), and more. As a member of the Commerce Committee, I am also glad to see that this package makes major broadband investments that will help tremendously with closing the digital divide in our country, something that has been a top priority for me since day one.
“The American people elected us to do tough work, and tough compromises are necessary to develop and pass bipartisan legislation like we did today. The core infrastructure investments that will result from this legislation are all investments not just for now, but also for the next generation. I’m glad that both sides were able to work together to make this legislation a reality and push it across the finish line in the Senate. I urge my friends in the House to move swiftly so we can send it to the president’s desk and deliver results for the American people.”
Ranking Member Capito delivered several Senate floor speeches during the debate process where she highlighted the significant investments the legislation will make nationwide and in West Virginia, specifically. Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening floor speech, and click here to watch her closing floor speech.
WEST VIRGINIA WINS RANKING MEMBER CAPITO WORKED TO SECURE:
- Includes the EPW-passed surface transportation legislation that provides $303.5 billion over five years for federal highway programs, which is a 35% increase over current law. For West Virginia, the state will receive $3.013 billion in highway formula funding over five years.
- Ensures that 90% of the funding in the EPW bill is distributed by formula, giving states much need certainty to plan and prioritize road and bridge projects.
- Includes $40 billion in dedicated resources for bridges, which is the single largest investment in bridge infrastructure since the construction of the interstate system. Of the portion of this funding that is distributed by formula, West Virginia will receive $506 million over five years specifically for bridge infrastructure.
- Creates a new $2 billion Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program that will dedicate resources to the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) and other critical projects across rural America. On top of this funding, West Virginia will receive $195 million, which will be used to help complete projects like Corridor H.
- Includes numerous project delivery provisions, including environmental review and permitting reforms for highway and bridge projects.
- Codifies One Federal Decision for highway projects, which sets a two-year goal for completing the environmental review and permitting process for major projects and requires agencies to coordinate on a predictable, joint schedule.
Water and Wastewater
- Includes the text of the EPW- and Senate-passed water infrastructure legislation. Combined with the additional funding, the overall package includes a total of $48.4 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure. This package represents the largest investment in clean drinking water in our nation’s history.
- Invests in innovative technologies and provides assistance to marginalized communities.
- Provides flexibility so both rural and urban areas can best address their needs.
- Includes a large infusion into the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), which West Virginia will stand to benefit from. Specifically, the bill authorizes $143,104,000 over five years of Drinking Water SRF funds and $223,230,000 over five years of Clean Water SRFs for West Virginia.
- Includes funding dedicated to lead pipe remediation and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) cleanup.
- Provides initial funding of at least $100 million for broadband deployment in addition to formula-based funding for West Virginia. West Virginia’s unserved and underserved areas would be first and second in line, respectively, to then receive formula-based funding, through the U.S. Department of Commerce.
- Provides dedicated funding to rural areas through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ReConnect program, which Senator Capito helped create and secure funds in the FY2018, FY2019, and FY2020 budgets as a leader on the Appropriations Committee.
- Spurs investment in rural broadband projects by allowing state and local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance public-private rural broadband projects. The package also allows the federal government to assist state and local governments in bond payments, a provision based on legislation previously authored by Senator Capito.
- Ensures rate transparency for consumers by directing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action to ensure providers label price and subscription rates in a clear and understandable way.
- Invests $2.48 billion in primary airports each year for five years, which includes Charleston, Huntington, Lewisburg, and Clarksburg.
- Invests $20 million to airports participating in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Contract Tower Program, which includes Wheeling Ohio County, Morgantown, Parkersburg/Wood County, and Greenbrier Valley.
- Invests $500 million in general aviation and commercial services at not primary airports.
- Invests $500 million in non-hub and non-primary airports, through the Airport Terminal Program.
Energy and Natural Resources
- Reauthorizes the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program and provides billions of dollars to clean up abandoned mine sites.
- Authorizes funding for a new program to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells.
- Boosts carbon capture infrastructure by investing in the development of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) infrastructure as a critical means of reducing carbon emissions while creating regional economic opportunities and jobs.
- Bolsters domestic critical mineral supply by furthering the research and development of critical minerals innovations in an effort to lessen our dependence upon countries like China for these resources.
- Brings much-needed critical mineral permitting reform on federal land and puts in place policies that not only improve efficiency, but also put America’s economic and national security interests first.
Army Corps of Engineers
- Provides significant funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to address our nation’s water resources needs. Funding will support critical projects that improve the inland waterways system, reduce riverine flooding, and mitigate coastal storm damage, among other important activities.
- Provides $2.5 billion for USACE projects to reduce inland flooding in states like West Virginia.
- Provides $200 million for environmental infrastructure assistance authorities under the USACE, including the three authorities in West Virginia that support water and wastewater improvement projects.
Appalachian Regional Commission:
- Includes language Senator Capito authored to reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
- Provides $1 billion to the ARC for economic and community development activities in Appalachia, including broadband deployment.
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