Advocacy

Issue Brief: Water Infrastructure Improvement Act

THE ISSUE

ASLA supports legislation that will increase resources for and strengthen green infrastructure projects related to water projects such as dams, levees, and stormwater systems. Landscape architects use green infrastructure and low-impact development projects to provide communities tangible, cost-effective solutions to address water management needs.

Background

Many state and local governments face difficult economic challenges with limited resources and financial capability to meet the Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements for stormwater and wastewater updates. To address these concerns, communities want to use cost-effective green infrastructure projects to address their water quality and quantity needs.

Bill Summary

Senator Deb Fischer (NE) introduced S.692, the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act, in March 2017. A companion bill, H.R. 2355 was also introduced by Representative Robert Latta (OH).

On December, 12, 2018, Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH) introduced a new version of the bill, H.R. 7279, The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act. This bill was nearly identical to S. 692.

The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act authorizes the use of green infrastructure into integrated plan permits under the integrated municipal stormwater and wastewater planning approach framework issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill also establishes, within the EPA's Office of the Administrator, an Office of the Municipal Ombudsman to provide technical assistance to municipalities to comply with federal water pollution and safe drinking water laws and to provide information about available federal financial assistance.


Recent Action

On January 14, 2019, H.R. 7279 was signed into law. It is now Public Law 115-436.

Sponsors

Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH) and co-sponsors.

Sen. Deb Fischer (NE) and co-sponsors.

Rep. Robert Latta (OH) and co-sponsors.
 

Contact

Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs
governmentaffairs@asla.org

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs
governmentaffairs@asla.org

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