Gibbs Introduces Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Financing Bill
WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Bob Gibbs joined a bipartisan group earlier today to introduce the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Reauthorization Act of 2017, to extend and double the funding authorization for a critical credit assistance program designed to accelerate investment in our nation’s water infrastructure.
WIFIA was created and authorized in 2014’s Water Resources Reform and Development Act championed by Gibbs to provide credit assistance and attract private investment for municipal drinking water and wastewater projects.
Gibbs was joined by sponsor Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) with co-sponsors Congressman Sean Maloney (D-NY) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA).
“Improving public water systems can be costly, and EPA consent decrees put considerable pressure on the budgets of cities and municipalities,” Rep. Gibbs said. “Rather than putting the squeeze on local officials, EPA can utilize WIFIA and help supplement state revolving funds to assist local governments in providing safe and affordable water utilities and make necessary repairs to their aging water infrastructure. Clean drinking water is an important issue for all Americans, and I am proud to have helped craft this bill.”
“The water issues in our community have been devastating, and it’s clear that we need to do more to make every possible tool available to fix the problem,” Rep. Mast said. “Strengthening this bipartisan program will make more resources available for ecosystem restoration, non-point source pollution management projects, estuary conservation projects and more.”
“Water systems are falling apart all over the country and we can’t afford to wait or cheap out on fixing them – all Americans deserve access to clean water and our bill would provide it,” Rep. Maloney said. “This legislation is the product of a months-long, bipartisan effort and we’re going to keep working together to get this thing passed into law.”
“From ecosystem restoration, to navigation and flood risk mitigation, Army Corps of Engineers projects are critical for many local communities across the country. Ensuring these public works can be financed through the WIFIA program will give states and local communities an additional tool to develop important projects,” Rep. Brownley said. “Working with a bipartisan group, including Congressmen Brian Mast, Sean Patrick Maloney, and Bob Gibbs, I am hopeful that we can move this legislation quickly so that the Corps and the Environmental Protection Agency can work together to advance critical infrastructure projects.”
Additional information about WIFIA program eligibility is available here. Interested potential applicants can attend an in-person or digital information session. Answers from the EPA to frequently asked questions about WIFIA are available here.