A bipartisan bill to boost funding for states’ water infrastructure passed the Senate 89-2, sending it to the House of Representatives.
The measure – the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 – would put $35 billion toward state water infrastructure programs. It authorizes gradual increases in funding for state water infrastructure systems from fiscal 2022 through 2026, beginning with $2.4 billion and ending with $3.25 billion.
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) co-wrote the measure with ranking member Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and committee members Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). The two “no” votes were Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), earlier led his EPW Committee colleagues in a unanimous vote reaffirming support for the bill.
“The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) welcomes Senate passage of S. 914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. This legislation would prioritize and update countless drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the country via $35 billion in federal investments, improving the daily lives of millions of Americas,” said NSSGA Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs Michele Stanley.
“We appreciate the leadership of EPW Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Capito, who worked with colleagues as well as industry stakeholders, to draft and report this bill to the floor unanimously. We hope the bipartisanship and cooperation achieved continues as the committee begins work on drafting and passing a robust highway reauthorization package to address our crumbling surface transportation network.”
“The bipartisan support for the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act underscores the challenges facing communities across the country. As we saw recently with the devastating storms that left some communities in Texas and Mississippi without clean drinking water for weeks, we need to invest in resilient clean water infrastructure,” said Jessie Ritter, director of water resources and coastal policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “This bill will benefit people and wildlife alike, by creating good jobs and improving habitat in rivers, lakes, and streams. We look forward to working with the Senate and the House to build on these historic investments to meet the moment and the urgent need for clean water in our communities.”