Advocacy

ISSUE BRIEF: WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT ACT (Formerly the Water Infrastructure Flexibility 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 & Analysis

Originally introduced by Senator Deb Fischer (NE) in March 2017, S.692, the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act, will authorize 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 would establish, 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.

On May 4, 2017, Congressman Robert Latta (OH) introduced H.R. 2355, House companion legislation to the Senate measure.

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. H.R. 7279 passed the House of Representatives 351-10 on December 19, 2018, and passed the Senate by voice vote on December 22, 2018. It was signed by the President on January 14, 2019.

Sponsor(s)

Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH) and co-sponsors

Sen. Deb Fischer (NE) and co-sponsors

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

Current Status

On January 14, 2019, H.R. 7279 was signed by the president and is awaiting codification and a public law number.

History

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.  

Resources

Water Infrastructure Improvement Act 
Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act 
EPA: Green Infrastructure Guide 
Bipartisan Senators Introduce Water Infrastructure Bill 
Integrated Planning for Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater

ASLA Public Policies

Coastal Zones
Waterways
Wetlands
Water Quality and Conservation

Contact

ASLA Government Affairs
governmentaffairs
@asla.org
 

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