Advocacy
Issue Brief: Water Quality Protection and Jobs Creation Act

The Issue

ASLA supports legislation that addresses the nation’s significant needs for water infrastructure improvement.
 
Background & Analysis

The Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2013 (H.R. 1877) was introduced in the House on May 8th, 2013.

H.R. 1877 authorizes $13.8 billion in federal appropriations over 5 years to capitalize Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRFs). These funds will provide low interest loans and loan subsidies to communities for water infrastructure improvements. As part of the water quality financing, economic incentives are used to encourage the use of energy and water efficient technologies and practices.

The bill also authorizes two alternative long-term financing mechanisms that will provide several billion dollars of additional funds for clean water infrastructure. The first mechanism is a direct loan and loan guarantee program and the second is a Clean Water Infrastructure Trust Fund.

The direct loan and loan guarantee program, described in the bill as the Water Pollution Control Investment, will be used to finance the construction of water-related infrastructure. This financing mechanism will be modeled after the financing mechanisms used for transportation projects in the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). Under this type of financing mechanism, the EPA Administrator will be able to make direct loans to state infrastructure financing authorities. The Administrator will also be able to manage loan guarantees in ways which will allow for private investment in large water infrastructure projects.

The Clean Water Infrastructure Trust Fund will be used to provide grants for CWSRFs and to encourage projects that utilize green infrastructure approaches, energy and water efficiency improvements, and better non-point source management practices. As part of the bill, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, the EPA Administrator and the Secretary of the Treasury are directed to study potential funding methods that will allow for $10 billion to be used annually for clean water infrastructure activities.

The bill aims to promote energy and water efficiency while creating thousands of new jobs in construction and wastewater management. As water and energy efficient practices become prioritized, green infrastructure will gain support. The promotion of green infrastructure will lead to improved environmental quality as well as lower operation and maintenance costs for water facilities throughout the nation.


Current Status

H.R. 1877 is sponsored by Rep Timothy H. Bishop [NY] and currently has 29 bi-partisan cosponsors. It was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on May 9th, 2013


Sponsor(s)

Rep Bishop, Timothy H. and cosponsors

Resources