On July 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 3906, the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2017, a bill introduced by Rep. Denny Heck (R-WA), by voice vote. This is legislative language that the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the National Municipal Stormwater Association (NMSA), as part of their partnership in the WEF Stormwater Institute, supported and advocated for, which would create a task force that would look for ways to fund our nation’s stormwater infrastructure needs.

Specifically, the bill sets up a task force "composed of federal, state, and local governments and private (including nonprofit) entities to conduct a study on, and develop recommendations to improve, the availability of public and private sources of funding for the construction, rehabilitation, and operation and maintenance of  stormwater infrastructure to meet the requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)”

WEF put out a statement on the language passing out of Committee in late June: “The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is very supportive of  the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee passing legislation to establish a stormwater infrastructure funding task force, in the nature of a substitute amendment to H.R. 3906, the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2017.  Communities and utilities across the nation have tremendous stormwater infrastructure construction needs, but limited financial resources.  WEF and the National Municipal Stormwater Association (NMSA) initially proposed the establishment of a task force of federal, state, local, and nonprofit stakeholder organizations to identify strategies for funding stormwater infrastructure needs, so we are very pleased to see the Committee moving forward with this legislation. We also would like to thank Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) and all the co-sponsors of the original version of H.R. 3906 and the substitute amendment for their leadership in Congress in advancing  policies to address stormwater infrastructure challenges.”

While the House Water Resources Development Act of 2018, HR 8, which passed earlier this summer, was a “clean” bill with only Corps provisions, the Senate WRDA bill includes the stormwater funding task force language – companion language to what is in HR 3906. The Senate is expected to consider their WRDA bill on the Senate floor in the coming weeks, and once it’s passed, the House and Senate will meet in conference committee to negotiate the final legislation.

For more information, please contact WEF Legislative Director Steve Dye at sdye@wef.org.

About This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington is an online news portal from the Water Environment Federation that provides updates on the latest legislative and regulatory developments that affect the water and wastewater communities. It provides concise reports of related bills, regulations, legal decisions, congressional hearings, and other federal government actions, following key issues from introduction to final determination.

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This Week in Washington is compiled by the WEF Government Affairs department. Please contact us with any questions or comments.

Claudio Ternieden
Senior Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships

Amy Kathman
Government Affairs Specialist

Steve Dye
Legislative Director