Item of Interest
Water Infrastructure legislation advanced in the House, having passed a key subcommittee. A low-interest loan program to improve drinking water systems drew support despite some concerns raised by members on both sides of the aisle. The draft bill, approved last week by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, would aim to improve drinking water systems (many from the mid-1900s) that are nearing the end of their expected lifespans of 75 to 100 years. It would reauthorize the drinking water state revolving fund, which provides financial support to water systems, and make some changes to how that program works. Speaking at the markup, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, said that because the Safe Drinking Water Act was last reauthorized in 1996, “it is high time we revisit and update the provisions of this act.” The EPA in 2013 estimated that $384.2 billion over 20 years would be needed to keep drinking water quality up.
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