House Passes Water Infrastructure Bill with Dingell Provisions
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives passed a critical water infrastructure improvement bill that includes legislation introduced by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) to improve the transparency of water quality and notifications to customers of public water systems.
America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 is a bipartisan compromise that authorizes $6.1 billion in federal funds for the Army Corps of Engineers to carry out new and existing projects critical to our nation’s economy, environment, and public health and safety. This reauthorization of the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) also includes important provisions from the bipartisan Drinking Water Systems Improvement Act passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee—which included increased funding for the state drinking water revolving loan fund program critical to the Flint Water Crisis. The bill also includes support for aquatic invasive species research, development of technology to combat harmful algal blooms, authorizations for the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study and updates to the Soo Locks, and other priorities important to the Great Lakes and efforts to protect clean water.
Also critical to the people of Michigan and the country is expanded testing for unregulated contaminants public water systems, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Last week during a Congressional hearing, Dingell pressed the EPA to set one national standard on contaminants in drinking water and received commitments from the EPA to hold public meetings on PFAS chemicals in Michigan.
“Every American has a right to clean and safe drinking water,” said Dingell. “We have a crisis of confidence in our drinking water systems and consumers deserve clear and immediate notifications and transparency when it comes to water quality. This is how Congress should work – and it is what the American people expect. The House and Senate came together in a bipartisan way to keep moving forward on this critical water infrastructure bill. It is my hope this good work will continue as Congress looks to address and improve the overall state of our entire nation’s infrastructure.”
America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 includes provisions from a stand-alone Dingell bill which makes consumer confidence reports on drinking water quality more frequent and easier for every American to understand. The provisions would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to instruct large drinking water systems to issue biannual consumer confidence reports, rather than annual, and increase the effectiveness and understandability of the reports to improve transparency and help prevent future drinking water crises.
The bill now heads to the Senate before going President’s desk to be signed into law.