Issue Brief: Water Infrastructure Improvement Act


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.


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, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act was signed by the president and became law. It is now Public Law 115-436.


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

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

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


Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs