Spending bill to maintain WIFIA, SRF funds approved

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its version of FY19 EPA spending legislation, maintaining level funding for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programmes, and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) programme.  The spending bill could be voted on again by the full senate later this summer.

The bill would inject into the Drinking Water and Clean Water SRF programmes $1.164 billion and $1.694 billion, respectively – about the same as current levels. WIFIA funding would remain at $63 million, with $8 million reserved to cover administrative spending. Committee Democrats also said the WIFIA appropriation could be leveraged into $6 billion worth of loans.

The bill also include $15 million for an EPA grant programme to assist in the replacement of lead service lines for communities and low-income households. It would also extend a provision that makes it necessary for projects funded by the DWSRF to use domestic iron and steel products.

The Senate EPA spending proposal is slightly higher than a similar proposal approved by a House committee earlier this month. The Senate measure will now head to the floor for consideration by the full chamber in the coming months.