Capito, Cardin introduce bill to create new resiliency grants for local water infrastructure projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, are working together to expand federal resources available to water systems across the country to increase their resiliency or adaptability to increasing natural hazards. Their legislation introduced last week, S. 2636, Clean Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Act, will help communities prepare their drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure to meet the threats posed by increasing instances of extreme weather and changing hydrological conditions.

“West Virginians know all too well how flooding can affect infrastructure. I’m proud to join with Senator Cardin in this legislation that will help communities better prepare for the costs associated with natural disasters. By improving the resiliency of our water infrastructure, we’re working not only to mitigate costs, but also prevent infrastructure emergencies in the future,” Senator Capito said.

“Marylanders have witnessed the dangerous consequences of extreme weather and we know that preparation is one of the best ways to mitigate future disasters,” Senator Cardin said. “We all need clean, safe water during good times and emergencies. As a country, we must better prepare our water systems for the increasing instances of more frequent and severe floods, record-setting rainfall, wildfires and other natural disasters that lie ahead. Our bipartisan legislation takes an important step toward shoring up America’s aging water infrastructure.”

The Clean Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Act, includes two authorizations: $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020-2024 to create a federal program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help communities strengthen the resiliency of their publicly owned treatment works against the threats of natural hazards. The measure also reauthorizes the expanded Drinking Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability program at an equal amount, $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020-2024. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for activities to increase resiliency or sustainability such as water conservation, water use efficiency, watershed protection, and modification or relocation. The bill provides a 75-25 cost share between the federal government and the partner agency.

S. 2636 has the support of the following national and regional organizations:

American Public Works Association
Association of California Water Agencies
Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
Association of Regional Water Organizations
California Association of Sanitation Agencies
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
Water Environment Federation
WateReuse Association
US Water Alliance
Water Utility Climate Alliance

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