Walden, Shimkus, and Upton on House Passage of America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018
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 House of Representatives unanimously passed S. 3021, the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
"This comprehensive water infrastructure bill empowers consumers, strengthens our economy, and keeps American families safe," said the committee leaders. "It promotes hydropower development, which creates jobs and provides customers across the country with continued access to clean, affordable, and reliable electricity. At the same time, this legislation makes critical investments to upgrade our nation's aging drinking water infrastructure, as well as enhance transparency for residents about the quality of their drinking water. In addition, this bill increases emergency assistance for areas affected by natural disasters to ensure access to safe drinking water. We want to thank our colleagues in the House for their relentless work on this bill and look forward to President Trump signing it into law soon."
The package contains several Energy and Commerce Committee priorities, including:
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; H.R. 2872, the Promoting Hydropower Development at Existing Nonpowered Dams Act; H.R. 2786, To Amend the Federal Power Act with Respect to the Criteria and Process to Qualify as a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility; as well as key provisions from H.R. 3043, the Hydropower Policy Modernization Act. 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.
Modernizing Our Drinking Water Infrastructure
This package incorporates substantial portions of H.R. 3387, the Drinking Water System Improvement Act, 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.
Increasing FERC Transparency
Included in the final package is H.R. 587, the Fair RATES Act, which passed the House unanimously in January 2017. This bill strengthens consumers' participation in the FERC rate process by increasing transparency.
Click here to learn more about the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.