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🗳️ "Briefing on the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act"

Words on Water

Photo by Scott Graham / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Steve Dye
Category: 🗳️ Policy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:15] “The new funding that's in the package is about $550 billion over the next five years, of which around $50 billion is directed towards municipal drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure investments. […] This funding is going to be […] designed to […] modernize the economy and modernize our infrastructure. It's going to be going out through some existing funding mechanisms […] such as the Clean Water SRF Program and […] WIFIA Program and there's also some new infrastructure investment grant programs.”

[7:40] “The big one […] is the Clean Water SRF program that is going to be reauthorized, which is the first time […] since […] 1994. […] Over the next five years [it will] get about $14.5 billion, of which $11.7 billion is guaranteed as part of […] the infrastructure package.”

[10:17] “There's also a $1 billion […] over next five years in grants through the Clean Water SRF to deal with emerging contaminants. And this is specifically going to be […] focused on helping communities […] to remediate and mitigate challenges with PFAS […] or just emerging contaminants in general [like] microplastics.”

[10:51] “Also, they reauthorized the WIFIA program, that […] federal loan program that leverages 100 to one […]. So they reauthorize it at $50 million a year, so $250 million over the next five years. So $50 million a year really adds up to $5 billion dollars per year in federal funding. And the federal funding could only add up to 49% of a project investment. So the other 51% needs to come from other sources, that could be the SRFs or […] other sources of capital.”

[11:38] “Another one of these programs that is relatively new to the federal suite of infrastructure investment programs is the EPA’s Sewer, Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program known as the OSG program. That got reauthorized at a $280 million a year. That's 1.4 billion over the next five years. […] 25% of the funds is reserved for rural and financially distressed communities. So that will be you know, helping those kind of communities that are dealing with CSO, SSO and stormwater problems.”

[16:45] “Another thing that's in the bill […] [is] creation of the Stormwater Infrastructure Technologies Program, which is creating five Stormwater Centers of Excellence across the country that will identify stormwater management technologies, new and existing technologies […] to prove their effectiveness. […] And those will identify ways that communities can adopt new technologies to manage their stormwater issues […]. But what goes hand in hand with the new Centers of Excellence is also a new grant program that is going to give $50 million over the next five years for stormwater planning and development grants in the first phase and the second phase would be implementation grants.”

[18:22] “Another thing that was in the bill […] [is] money to do that Clean Watershed Needs Survey. WEF has been a big proponent of getting that done. The last one was done in 2016, using 2012 data. So it doesn't really show what our needs are for the nation for water infrastructure. So the Clean Watershed Needs Survey is supposed to be done biannually […]. We have a lot of interests there. One of them is that the last survey and the survey before didn't really have a lot of data about stormwater infrastructure investment needs.”

[19:45] “The last thing I want to point out […] is something in the bill that we weren't supportive of […] [which is] a requirement for Buy America that manufacturers goods and products and technologies are now subject to […] similar to the iron and steel existing requirements. So currently, if you're using federal funding to construct a treatment facility or build something in the wastewater or drinking water space or stormwater space, you have to use American made iron and steel. They've now required that same Buy America requirement for manufactured products. Previously, they didn't have that requirement, because so many manufacturing projects are diversified from across the globe. But now they've added it as a requirement for the entire [infrastructure plan].”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 22 min | 🗓️ 11/10/2021
✅ Time saved: 20 min

Additional Links:
Summary of Water Infrastructure Package