WASHINGTON, DC – The Environment Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), today advanced legislation that seeks to bring greater investment in the country’s aging drinking water infrastructure as well as facilitate compliance for our drinking water delivery systems. H.R.___, the Drinking Water System Improvement Act passed #SubEnvironment by voice vote.
Drinking water is delivered across the country via one million miles of pipes owned by both private and public water systems. Many of these pipes were laid in the early to mid-20th century with a lifespan of 75 to 100 years. While drinking water quality remains high across the country, improvements can be made to the nation’s drinking water infrastructure.
- Authorize $8 billion over 5 years for the drinking water revolving loan fund program.
- Open the eligible uses of Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund to now cover costs associated with preconstruction activities and replacing or rehabilitating aging treatment, storage, or distribution facilities.
- Create a strategic plan to have an electronic system that allows water utilities to send their compliance data to states and states send it to EPA.
- Reauthorize funding for voluntary source water protection programs.
- For more information on the bill, click here.
Chairman Shimkus reads through his opening statement
“When we began this Congress, one of the things we committed to do was to use our authority to authorize programs under our jurisdiction. The last reauthorization for the Safe Drinking Water Act was 1996, so it is high time we revisit and update the provisions of this act,” said Chairman Shimkus. “There are many good provisions in this bill. This is the type of good bipartisan work we like to do here at the Energy and Commerce Committee.”
Chairman Walden and full committee Vice Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) discuss the legislation
Full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) concluded, “Today’s markup takes a bold step forward in addressing the challenges facing our aging drinking water delivery systems and supporting the American workforce that is working every day to rebuild our infrastructure. This legislation can and should be a win for drinking water utilities, U.S. taxpayers, states, American workers, and most importantly American consumers.”
For a breakdown of the bipartisan Manager’s Amendment, click HERE.
An electronic copy of the bill, background memo, amendment text and votes can be found on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website HERE.