230421 Coalition IIJA Water Infrastructure Approps
April 21, 2023
Dear Chairs Murray and Granger, Vice Chair Collins, and Ranking Member DeLauro:
The undersigned organizations, representing business, environment, local government, and water sector stakeholders, strongly urge you to fund several key water infrastructure programs authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, P.L. 117-58). These programs were authorized but not provided appropriations in the IIJA and we urge funding as the FY 2024 appropriations process proceeds. Building smart, modern, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure has long been among our top priorities.
We encourage your committee to fund the following issue areas and programs (See Appendix 1 for specific programs of interest):
· Small and disadvantaged communities and environmental justice: Catalyzing assistance for small, rural, disadvantaged, and underserved communities especially around funding for water infrastructure, affordability, lead pipe replacement, especially schools, technical assistance, and access to technologies to address water quality concerns at the household level (e.g., point of use/point of entry water filtration systems). This funding should also include the low-income assistance needs assessment and pilot projects and add to the technical assistance that EPA is already providing. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released its Small and Disadvantaged Community Water Funding Roadmap to help on this important issue.
· Resilience: Promoting resilience, cybersecurity, and sustainability for water and wastewater systems, including through nature-based solutions and leveraging public-private partnerships, as well as deployment of USGS ‘super’ gauges throughout river basins to monitor nutrient loading.
· Technology innovation: Establishing an advanced technology grant program and a pilot for waste-to-energy solutions to drive innovation, lower costs, and improve efficiency.
Our organizations recommend continued full funding for State Revolving Funds and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act and also support the Water Reuse Interagency Working Group to integrate approaches to public and industrial water recycling.
We again urge your support for important water and resilience funding in the FY24 appropriations and will follow up with you and your staff to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your leadership.
American Council of Engineering Companies
American Society of Civil Engineers
City Parks Alliance
Ecological Restoration Business Association
International Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Officials
Interstate Council on Water Policy
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
National Association of Counties
National League of Cities
Rural Community Assistance Partnership
Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative
The Nature Conservancy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Water Environment Federation
Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association
Water Quality Association
cc: Members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations
Members of the House Committee on Appropriations
Appendix 1: Specific Programs of Interest
Environmental Justice/Small and Disadvantaged Communities
· $50 million for Lead Contamination in School Drinking Water
· $50 million for Operational Sustainability for Small Public Water Systems
· $100 million for Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities
· $50 million for Small System Water Loss Identification and Prevention
· $25 million for Small and Medium Publicly Owned Treatment Works Circuit Rider
· $5 million for Water Infrastructure and Workforce Investment
· 40 pilot projects to provide financial assistance to low-income water customers
· $50 million for Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program
· $25 million for Clean Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program
· $25 million for the Pilot Program for Alternative Water Source Grants
· $280 million for Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants
· $10 million for the Advanced Drinking Water Technologies
· $50 million for a study assessing emerging technologies that could address cybersecurity and water monitoring issues and a grant program to deploy technologies
· $20 million to pilot wastewater efficiency grant program for owners or operators of publicly owned treatment works to carry out projects that create or improve waste-to-energy systems.
· $15 million for a water data sharing pilot.
· A Water Reuse Interagency Workgroup to develop and coordinate actions, tools, and resources to advance water reuse across the U.S., including through the implementation of the February 2020 National Water Reuse Action Plan.
Additional Relevant Issues
· United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development:
o $12 million within the Rural Water/Wastewater Technical Assistance.
o $10 million for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant program to support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas.
· Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Community Services:
o $15 million for the Rural Community Facilities Technical Assistance program and bill language directing recipients to provide technical assistance to low- income rural communities who are in the process of developing water and wastewater systems.
· Economic Development Administration Technical Assistance Grant Program at $25 million