Jul 02, 2021

Industry Associations Applaud INVEST in America Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan infrastructure legislation, The INVEST in America Act, which is supported by associations including NACWA, APWA, and WateReuse

invest in america act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan infrastructure legislation that would invest in water reuse and related federal programs and policies. 

The INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) includes the text of the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 (H.R. 1915) and passed 221-201. 

The package also combines themes from the Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2021 (H.R. 3293).

This legislation aims to provide communities and businesses tools and resources they need to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and build resilience to drought, flooding, and other impacts of climate change. 

The Invest in America Act includes the first-ever reauthorization of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) at $40 billion over five years, as well as the reauthorization of the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants at $2 billion over five years, according to NACWA in a press release, who showed support of the legislation. 

“NACWA applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for advancing this critical clean water legislation,” said Adam Krantz, Chief Executive Officer of NACWA in the press release. “The historic reauthorization of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, among other provisions in this legislation, make it clear that Congress is working hard to support strong, resilient clean water infrastructure in communities across the country.”

In another statement, the WateReuse Association urged Congress to support the water reuse provisions in the Invest Act, which include reauthorizing the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program and to establish a federal interagency working group on water reuse.

“The WateReuse Association thanks Representatives DeFazio, Napolitano, and Fitzpatrick for spearheading strong, bipartisan legislation to improve our nation’s water recycling infrastructure,” said Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director of the WateReuse Association in the WateReuse statement. “The INVEST Act is a bold step forward in improving that nation’s infrastructure so that we can build back better. We urge Congress to support the bill's water recycling provisions as negotiations over infrastructure legislation continue.”

In a statement, The American Public Works Association (APWA) is calling for a bipartisan, regular order legislative process as the most effective manner for Congress to pass the infrastructure legislation.

APWA supports the passage of the act, as well other water infrastructure investment bills such as the Assistance, Quality, and Affordability (AQUA) Act, (H.R. 3291) and H.R. 1915, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act. In the APWA statement, the association approved of efforts by Congress to reauthorize critical surface transportation programs before they are set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021, and funding and financing terms to help public works agencies deliver clean water.

“With passage of these bills, Congress is taking a positive step forward towards demonstrating a robust federal commitment to our nation’s surface transportation network, and water and wastewater infrastructure. Public works professionals across our great nation are committed to operating, maintaining, and protecting our critical infrastructure in communities of all sizes, serving all people, every single day,” said APWA President Mary Joyce Ivers in the APWA statement.

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