On March 9, negotiators in the U.S. Congress agreed to a final fiscal year 22 (FY22) Omnibus Appropriations package that will fund the federal government through the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2022.
The bill — the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (H.R. 2471) — is expected to pass the House and Senate in the next couple days. President Biden likely will sign it into law before the current continuing resolution expires at midnight on March 11. This bill totals $1.5 trillion in discretionary resources.
U.S. EPA Funding
Overall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will receive $9.559 billion. Below are the key details of what’s in the Omnibus for water infrastructure funding and policies.
- The Clean Water State Revolving Fund will receive $1.6 billion. (This is in addition to the $1.9 billion for FY22 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This means a total of $3.5 billion for Clean Water SRF in FY22!)
- The Drinking Water SRF will receive $1.1 billion. (This is in addition to the $1.9 billion for FY22 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This means $3 billion for Drinking Water SRF in FY22!)
- The EPA Sewer Overflow & Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program (OSG) will receive $43 million.
- The WIFIA program will receive $63.5 million.
- Water Workforce Grants will receive $4 million.
- Technical Assistance for Treatment Works will receive $20 million.
- Small & Disadvantaged Communities Grants will receive $27 million.
- Non-Profit Grants for Technical Assistance for drinking water, wastewater and septic projects will receive $25.7 million.
- Water Quality Protect grants will receive $216 million. (Bill language directs most of the funding to drinking water and wastewater collections and conveyance systems improvements)
Cybersecurity for Water
The Omnibus also includes the language recently passed by the Senate to direct the Department of Homeland Security to develop regulations for critical infrastructure cyberattack reporting and preparedness. A designated critical infrastructure entity will need to report to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within 72 hours a substantial cyberattack, and within 24 hours report if they make a ransomware payment. Water and wastewater utilities will likely be designated as critical infrastructure entities.
The Omnibus did not include funding for any of the recently created water infrastructure grant programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (the enacted name of the Investment & Jobs Act. This legislation was passed by Congress too late into the FY22 appropriations bills drafting process to be included in the final Omnibus.
The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations issued a press release detailing the Omnibus Appropriations Package.