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senate Bill S. 3021

Improving Drinking Water Systems & Reauthorizing Water Infrastructure Projects

Argument in favor

This commonsense, bipartisan bill will improve America’s drinking water systems while also enhancing the nation’s ports, canals, dams, and waterways.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
09/13/2018
Yep, water is life. Protect it, research it, updates for infrastructure. Good good good!
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Chickie's Opinion
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09/14/2018
I strongly advocate clean drinking water for everyone. I am disappointed that this bill doesn’t address the enormous problem in Detroit and other urban cities that have the same proven problem of lead/contaminates in their drinking water. Why aren’t privately owned beverage companies stepping up to provide immediate relief while projects for uncontaminated water are completed? Currently, several private foundations are doing the part in providing clean water for Detroit, but a permanent solution is needed. Are the Working Class and Working Poor not as important as suburban towns in the US?
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Linda's Opinion
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10/08/2018
All of our drinking water must be clean & safe. Congress must also fix the water problem in Flint Mich. & other areas.
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Argument opposed

This bill doesn’t provide enough funding for the improvement of drinking water systems. Alternatively, these responsibilities should be left to states.

I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
···
09/14/2018
Why are so many different items lumped into one giant mess of a bill? We certainly need drinking water Infrastructure improvements. Hydro-dams are not friendly to the environment and wildlife and entire ecosystems. Improving ports for larger cargo ships, is generally free money and unethical bonuses to corporations. Unless we can charge appropriate fees to Corporations to offset some of those costs, taxpayers may not get much return on their investment. I’m all for protecting the ports for hurricanes and weather, but this is a place where the corporations who will benefit the most, should form a public/ private relationship and chip in their fair costs.
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David's Opinion
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10/08/2018
To much junk packed into one bill. And anytime I see the words "common sense" in front of legislation, I know there isn't enough real justification so politicians resort to manipulation. Let the states deal with their water systems and provide an option of Federal assistance because... Flint.
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Mart's Opinion
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10/08/2018
State and local function, not a national power
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What is Senate Bill S. 3021?

This bill — the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 — would provide for improvements to America’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, and ecosystem restoration by reauthorizing related U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activities for two years through fiscal year 2020. It would also maintain the two year cycle of the Corps proposing, evaluating, and reporting potential projects to Congress so they can be vetted for inclusion in future Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bills. Additionally, the bill contains provisions aimed at improving the nation’s drinking water infrastructure and hydropower capacity, a breakdown of which can be found below.

WRDA

This part of the bill would authorize work on projects contained in the Corps’ Chief’s Reports received since the last WRDA law of 2016. Such reports detail water resources infrastructure projects that have been proposed at the local level in consultation with the Corps, provide national economic and environmental benefits, and have been vetted by congressional committees. A total of six water resources projects that have gone through this process would be authorized, including:

  • Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay (Texas): $2.16 billion in federal funding for hurricane and storm damage risk reduction;

  • Savannah Harbor Expansion (Georgia): $677.6 million in federal funding would be authorized;

  • Ala Wai Canal (Hawaii): $199 million in federal funding for flood risk management;

  • Mamaroneck-Sheldrake Rivers (New York): $53.5 million in federal funding for flood risk management;

  • Galveston Harbor Channel Extension (Texas): $10 million in federal funding to improve navigation;

  • St. Johns County (Florida): federal funds would total $5.7 million initially with $9.5 million renourishment for hurricane and storm damage risk reduction;

  • St. Lucie County (Florida): federal funds would total $7.1 million initially with $8.9 million renourishment for hurricane and storm damage risk reduction;

  • Kentucky River Locks and Dams (Kentucky): No funding would be required as this is a modification of an existing project.

All new authorizations would be fully offset by the deauthorization of inactive projects. Specifically, this bill would deauthorize $3 billion in projects that were authorized before November 8, 2007 but haven’t begun planning, design, construction or received funds in the last six years. There would be a 180 day period of congressional review, at which point they’d be deauthorized.

Additionally, the bill would:

  • Reauthorize the Levee Safety Initiative and the National Dam Safety Program through 2023.

  • Allow the Corps to accept funds from non-federal sponsors to advance studies and project elements, which would be detailed in the Corps’ annual report to Congress.

  • Require the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the current organizational structure of the Corps’ civil works functions, identify impediments to efficient project delivery, and provide recommendations to Congress.

  • Authorize studies for projects included in the Corps’ 2017 and 2018 annual reports to Congress.

Drinking Water System Improvement

This part of the bill would authorize more than $4.4 billion over three years for the state drinking water revolving loan fund program, which finances state projects to repair or improve drinking water systems.

All water systems serving more than 10,000 people would be required to produce at least two consumer confidence reports per year that convey information about drinking water quality in an understandable and non-technical manner.

It’d also provide states and utilities with compliance assistance and asset management, while updating anti-terrorism and resilience measures at public water systems.

Over the next two fiscal years, $100 million would be authorized for areas affected by natural disasters that need help repairing drinking water systems or hooking up to other systems to obtain potable drinking water.

Energy

This part of the bill would aim to promote the use of clean, baseload hydropower by streamlining the regulatory permitting process. Specifically, it’d allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend a preliminary permit from two additional years to up to four additional years and to extend the commencement of a construction deadline for up to eight years.

This bill was amended from its original form to serve as the legislative vehicle for the water infrastructure, drinking water, and hydropower provisions. Originally it renamed a federal courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota after Diana E. Murphy.

Impact

Water infrastructure; consumers of water and hydropower; state and local governments; and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 3021

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) offered the following statement on the introduction of this bipartisan, bicameral bill to improve water infrastructure and drinking water systems:

“Water Resources Development Acts – WRDAs – are critical to building the infrastructure that moves goods, grains, resources, and energy products throughout the entire Nation, from our coasts to the interior, and everywhere in between.  WRDA, as included in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, will ensure that we stay economically competitive with other countries. When I became Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, I prioritized returning Congress to the regular consideration of these infrastructure bills.  I am proud that we have been able to work together for the good of our infrastructure and now have an opportunity to send the third WRDA during my chairmanship to the president.”

Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) added:

“This bipartisan legislation will authorize water infrastructure projects developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will strengthen our coastal communities, help keep us competitive in the world economy, and restore our coastal environment.  These critical water infrastructure projects will improve our Nation’s ports, harbors, and waterways, and create and sustain thousands of good-paying American jobs.  I applaud my colleagues for their bipartisan work, and I look forward to getting this bill passed and signed into law.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / pinkomelet)

AKA

America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

Official Title

An Act to provide for improvements to the rivers and harbors of the United States, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to provide for water pollution control activities, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedInvalid date
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed September 13th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
  • The senate Passed September 4th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
    IntroducedJune 7th, 2018

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Yep, water is life. Protect it, research it, updates for infrastructure. Good good good!
    Like (114)
    Follow
    Share
    Why are so many different items lumped into one giant mess of a bill? We certainly need drinking water Infrastructure improvements. Hydro-dams are not friendly to the environment and wildlife and entire ecosystems. Improving ports for larger cargo ships, is generally free money and unethical bonuses to corporations. Unless we can charge appropriate fees to Corporations to offset some of those costs, taxpayers may not get much return on their investment. I’m all for protecting the ports for hurricanes and weather, but this is a place where the corporations who will benefit the most, should form a public/ private relationship and chip in their fair costs.
    Like (107)
    Follow
    Share
    I strongly advocate clean drinking water for everyone. I am disappointed that this bill doesn’t address the enormous problem in Detroit and other urban cities that have the same proven problem of lead/contaminates in their drinking water. Why aren’t privately owned beverage companies stepping up to provide immediate relief while projects for uncontaminated water are completed? Currently, several private foundations are doing the part in providing clean water for Detroit, but a permanent solution is needed. Are the Working Class and Working Poor not as important as suburban towns in the US?
    Like (73)
    Follow
    Share
    All of our drinking water must be clean & safe. Congress must also fix the water problem in Flint Mich. & other areas.
    Like (55)
    Follow
    Share
    To much junk packed into one bill. And anytime I see the words "common sense" in front of legislation, I know there isn't enough real justification so politicians resort to manipulation. Let the states deal with their water systems and provide an option of Federal assistance because... Flint.
    Like (29)
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    Share
    DUH!! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the government is responsible for the environment, clean air & water. YES!!!
    Like (25)
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    Its important to update our water system to ensure safety and cleanliness. It’s also important to make sure water refineries don’t impact neighborhood air quality.
    Like (20)
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    State and local function, not a national power
    Like (17)
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    Start with Flint
    Like (9)
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    Everyone deserves clean water. Our country needs to make this a priority and work with scientists to make needed changes to improve our world.
    Like (8)
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    We need to do this
    Like (8)
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    Fix Flint and other cities like it, protect cities and towns on the coasts, and stop giving money away to big corporations. Stop holding needed services hostage to corporate welfare.
    Like (7)
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    We need to be doing everything we can to improve our (sadly out of date) infrastructure.
    Like (7)
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    All drinking water should be clean and healthy to drink.Hydro-electrict dams provide many positive and less costly solutions to water for farmlands and therefore the future cost of foods and clean water, recreation and lessens the problems associated with nuclear power. They can effectently produce power in growing, higher growth areas along with higher demand for clean water! Go back to what works best!!!
    Like (7)
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    Pay Attention Elected Officials! We must have drinkable water on this planet to survive. El Trumpo, our EPA & the mass Chemical cartels don’t think so, but it is a FAct. Atlas Shrugged times we live in now, we need to have our infrastructure working, secure & up to date!!!!
    Like (6)
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    Water is life’s blood and clean water should be of the highest priority. Since the administration does not agree with me and continues to deregulate we need to address clean water. However as I read the details I am hoping that the fiasco in Flint Michigan is included in the drinking water areas so they might finally get the help they deserve that has been moving so slowly since the unbelievable decision to appoint an emergency manager that poisoned the people of Flint.
    Like (5)
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    This should be a no brainer. Everyone needs water to survive. The condition of our infrastructure is antiquated and in bad shape.
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    Flint first.
    Like (4)
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    Drinking water and infrastructure should be on the individual state agenda, not Federal.
    Like (4)
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    But this admin doesn’t care They’ve ok’d pollution of our air and water
    Like (4)
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