Capito lauds Senate committee markup of water infrastructure bills

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) on May 6 applauded the markup by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee of bipartisan water infrastructure legislation that includes priorities for her home state.

The committee on May 4 received both the bipartisan Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, S. 3590, and the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, S. 3591, for consideration and on May 6 amended and unanimously passed the legislation.

“Today’s markup was an important step in getting communities across the country the support they need to meet their water demands,” said Sen. Capito, who chairs the U.S. Senate EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “Water infrastructure investment benefits the public health and economic success of our state.”

Sen. Capito noted that through her subcommittee chairmanship, she successfully secured $120 million for drinking water and wastewater investments, specifically in central Appalachia.

“The bill also supports rehabilitation of our inland waterway infrastructure, such as locks and dams, and improvements to flood control projects,” she said. “I’ve made sure to look out for smaller water systems, like many in southern West Virginia, by creating a new grant program that responds to their unique needs.”

Specifically, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 — led by EPW Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) and co-authored by Sen. Capito — includes roughly $17 billion in new federal authorizations to increase water storage, provide floodwater protections, deepen nationally significant ports, and maintain the navigability of the nation’s inland waterways, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Capito’s office.

The Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 would provide approximately $2.5 billion in federal funds and reauthorize programs under the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide resources and technical assistance to communities for their drinking water needs, according to the draft of the legislation provided by the EPW Committee.

The legislation also includes a requirement by the Environmental Protection Agency to set a maximum contaminant level on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a standard extensively advocated for by Sen. Capito.