WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Subcommittee on Environment Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), and Subcommittee on Energy Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today issued the following statement after the Senate passed S. 3021, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, by a vote of 99-1. The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
“Without question, this water infrastructure package is a win for America,” said the committee leaders. “With this bill, we are reauthorizing the Safe Drinking Water Act for the first time in two decades – ensuring our communities have safe, reliable drinking water available. It also promotes hydropower development, which creates clean energy jobs here at home and provides consumers with low-cost, emissions-free electricity. We applaud the Senate for passing this vital legislation and urge President Trump to sign it into law soon.”
The package contains several Energy and Commerce Committee priorities, including:
Modernizing Our Drinking Water Infrastructure
This package incorporates substantial portions of H.R. 3387, the Drinking Water System Improvement Act, authored by #SubOversight Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS), which passed the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously in July 2017. Key provisions include:
- Authorization of more than $4.4 billion over three years for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund program.
- Improving accountability by aiding states and utilities with compliance and asset management.
- Protecting communities by updating antiterrorism and resilience measures at public water systems.
- Enhancing transparency for consumers about the quality of their drinking water.
- Authorization of $100 million over the next two fiscal years for areas affected by natural disasters that need help repairing their drinking water systems or hooking up to other ones to obtain potable drinking water.
Promoting Hydropower Development
This package combines several Energy and Commerce bills that passed the House including, H.R. 2880, the Promoting Closed-Loop Pumped Storage Hydropower Act, authored by #SubOversight Vice Chairman Morgan Griffith (R-VA); H.R. 2872, the Promoting Hydropower Development at Existing Nonpowered Dams Act, authored by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN); H.R. 2786, To Amend the Federal Power Act with Respect to the Criteria and Process to Qualify as a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility, authored by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC); as well as key provisions from H.R. 3043, the Hydropower Policy Modernization Act, authored by House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). These bills:
- Encourage the use of clean, baseload hydropower by streamlining the regulatory permitting process.
- Get new hydropower projects to market faster, saving time and money.
- Remove barriers to investments in hydropower, which create jobs and provide low-cost, emissions-free electricity to consumers.
Increasing FERC Transparency
Included in the final package are key provisions from H.R. 587, the Fair RATES Act, authored by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), which passed the House unanimously in January 2017. These provisions strengthen consumers’ participation in the FERC rate process by increasing transparency.
Click here to learn more about the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.