Senate Western Caucus Secures Western Priorities in Water Infrastructure Bill
2018 bill is the most pro-Western water infrastructure legislation in history
U.S. SENATE – Today, Senate Western Caucus Chairman Steve Daines (MT) and Environment and Public Works Chairman, John Barrasso (WY) released the following statements after securing Western priorities in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which was introduced today.
America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 supports the West’s economic competitiveness by increasing water storage, providing protection from dangerous floodwaters, deepening nationally significant ports, and maintaining the navigability of inland waterways across the country. The legislation will also repair aging drinking water, wastewater and irrigation systems.
“This is an important first step for Montana families, farmers, ranchers, the Blackfeet Tribe and Western states,” said Daines. “Inclusion of funding for the Blackfeet Tribe water rights settlement and for watercraft inspection stations will create water access stability and control the spread of invasive species that threaten Montana ecosystems.”
Chairman Daines also plans to work with his colleagues to determine how the bill can be strengthened even further as it moves toward consideration on the Senate floor.
“America’s Water Infrastructure Act will make communities safer and grow our economy by improving the nation’s water infrastructure,” said Barrasso. “President Trump has made addressing the nation’s aging dams, levees, water systems, and ports a top priority. This bipartisan legislation answers the president’s call. Projects included in the bill would make a positive impact in Wyoming by increasing water storage; protecting communities from dangerous ice jam floods; and by upgrading old water systems. Let’s use this opportunity to pass major water infrastructure legislation that will help keep our nation prosperous.”
Western Priorities in AWIA:
- Expands water storage capabilities;
- Assists local communities in complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act in upgrading aging drinking water, wastewater and irrigation systems;
- Reduces flooding risks for rural, western, and coastal communities;
- Ensures that America maintains the competitiveness of our coastal and inland ports, and maintain the navigability of our inland waterways; and
- Creates a new framework to allow for more Corps projects to be budgeted at the regional and local level, with local stakeholder input, as opposed to just at the national level;
- Authorizes or reauthorize important water infrastructure programs and projects that benefit the entire country; and
- Addresses significant water infrastructure needs in tribal communities.