Major AGC-Backed Water Infrastructure Bill Passes House
On Sept. 13, the House passed an AGC-supported water resources development bill that helps the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintain much of our nation's water resources infrastructure. The Senate is expected to approve the bill in the coming days. While not a funding bill, this legislation allows Congress to eventually approve billions of dollars in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects, including navigation (dredging, locks), flood control (levees), hydropower (dams), recreation (parks), and water supply. In addition, the bill reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) for $50 million annually in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and provides a new authorization for the funding of State Revolving Funds with WIFIA dollars—which can be used for drinking water and wastewater facility projects.
Other notable provisions in the bill include:
- Reaffirming a federal commitment to State Revolving Funds;
- Authorization of capital grants for State Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Loan Funds;
- Establishing an innovative water infrastructure workforce development program;
- Authorization of feasibility studies and critical projects;
- Making publicly available USACE real estate assets as a means to help avoid sometimes lengthy Rivers and Harbors Act Section 408 approval processes, which delay Clean Water Act Section 404 permit issuance; and
- Rehabilitation of USACE constructed dams.
Jordan F. Howard
Director, Federal and Heavy Construction Division
Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 300, Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: 703-837-5368; Fax: 703-837-5406