Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate, House Introduce Water Infrastructure Legislation

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate, House Introduce Water Infrastructure Legislation

Article excerpt

Two separate pieces of legislation introduced in the, Senate and, House demonstrate a Congressional focus on water infrastructure and-clean water issues.

The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act (S. 3262) introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) would remove issuances of private activity bonds for water and wastewater projects from the annual state volume caps, allowing local communities to leverage private capital markets in combination with other financial mechanisms to finance water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Currently, with water and wastewater infrastructure projects included in the cap, water projects often lose out to other projects that are a better fit for the structure of the private activity bond program.

According to a recent study by the American Water Works Association, while many different types of projects are subject to the same private activity bond cap, most states allocate only a small portion of their private activity bonding capacity to water infrastructure projects, instead typically opting for housing and housing-related projects.

Companion bill H.R. 537, sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), was added to the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act (H.R. 4849), which passed the House on March 24.

"Taxpayers cannot be expected to foot the entire bill for all of the repairs and updates that our water infrastructure needs, said Pascrell. That is why this legislation will encourage the private sector to provide the resources needed for these projects. More people will be put back to work and more reliable water services will be provided in communities across the nation. …

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