Impending bill to address drinking water and wastewater

Hat tip to our eyes and ears in DC (Van Scoyoc Associates) for intel on developments surrounding a drinking water and wastewater bill. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's majority staff are drafting a bill to reauthorize several EPA programs, including the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the alternative water source program under section 220 of the Clean Water Act, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, and other smaller programs. The goal of the legislation is to get key but expired programs at EPA reauthorized, and include moderate funding authority increases for the programs.

Committee staff emphasized the bill will be limited to Environmental Protection Agency water programs only; it will not include programs under the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Agriculture nor the Army Corps of Engineers. The bill is currently not slated to address PFAS contamination. According to Van Scoyoc reports, the legislation will be similar to the provisions in the Senate EPW Committee-passed bills from last year that got left on the cutting room floor after WRDA was negotiated.

The Committee's ambitious goal is to hold a hearing on or about March 17th, with a Full Committee Markup the following week, followed by a floor vote on a bipartisan bill by the end of April. The EPW majority and minority are currently negotiating the details, so the draft bill outline and schedule will be on a roller coaster for the next several weeks.

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