AMWA: Action needed on Build Back Better bill

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) wrote to Democratic House and Senate leaders earlier in February in support of including funding for lead service line replacement projects and water affordability initiatives in the final version of legislation to implement President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) agenda.

AMWA and other reports have suggested lawmakers may attempt to negotiate the bill in the coming weeks.

AMWA’s letter applauded several water-related provisions that were part of the version of the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) that passed the House in November. These included $9 billion for EPA grants to reduce lead in drinking water, $225 million for a new low-income water affordability program at EPA, and $100 million for Bureau of Reclamation grants to support large-scale water reuse projects.

This water program funding “would invest in the nation’s water infrastructure while advancing critical environmental and social justice priorities,” AMWA said in its letter. “We strongly encourage you to include these important provisions in any final BBB agreement.”

The association wrote to Democratic leaders as the BBB proposal remains in a state of limbo on Capitol Hill. H.R. 5376 as passed by the House, a $1.7 trillion measure containing a host of Democratic social spending priorities, does not have adequate support to pass the Senate, so Democratic leaders have recently discussed breaking the bill into smaller pieces that may be able to advance separately. In the context of these negotiations, AMWA’s letter is intended to ensure that the funding for water sector priorities has a place in any final legislation that is developed.

Source: AMWA

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