Congress Passes $21.2 Billion Infrastructure Spending Bill

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From Water & Waste Digest (March 30)

On March 29, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new $1.3 trillion spending package, of which $21.2 billion will be allocated for infrastructure spending. The new injection will fund the government through September 2018.

The House passed the bill with a vote of 256-167 and the Senate followed suit with a vote of 65-32. Such voting trends suggest bipartisan approval of the new injection, which will be put towards a variety of projects across transportation, energy, water and others.

Of the $21.2 billion put towards infrastructure, $1.4 billion will be allocated to water infrastructure projects, according to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations. Specifically, $500 million will go towards grants for clean drinking water, as well as sanitary waste disposal systems. Beyond this, the remaining $918 million will be put towards water infrastructure projects executed by the Army Corps and Bureau of Reclamation. This will include the ports, waterways, flood control and water supply.

The collection of bills also includes amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act by way of the new Clean Safe Reliable Water Infrastructure Act. The revisions will offer provisions for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure development.

In a statement, Jon Boozman (R-AR) said, “This legislation helps tackle costs that come with making changes to water and sewer systems that have served millions of people for more than a century, but have become outdated and a threat to public health and the environment.”