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WRRDA Legislation Includes Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Provisions

May 16, 2014
AGC and its coalition partners in the Water Infrastructure Network have been engaged in an 18-month campaign to include significant clean water provisions in the final conference package of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. Those efforts successfully secured several provisions that improve the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The CWSRF will now be more flexible in its loan terms, allowing lower interest rates, principle forgiveness, and extended repayment periods of 30 years. The provisions will also expand eligible SRF funding uses to include implementation of watershed plans, water conservation, stormwater recapture, and technical assistance to small and medium treatment works. The Clean Water SRF provisions were in neither the House- nor Senate-passed WRDA Bills. Unfortunately, in addition to the reauthorization language, the bill also permanently extends (for the CWSRF) the Buy American language that was previously in the appropriations compromise from earlier this year. That appropriations provision was set to expire at the end of September. The WRRDA legislation also creates a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA), just as the Senate version of the bill did. This would be a pilot project for making loans and loan guarantees directly from the federal government to eligible water resources and water/wastewater projects. The projects receiving this assistance would be selected at the federal level, unlike the SRF program, and projects that are financed in whole or in part with any sort of tax-exempt financing are ineligible for WIFIA assistance. The same Buy American provisions as described above will apply to these projects as well. For more information, please contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org
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