Hoeven, Booker Introduce Legislation to Extend WIFIA, Provide Low-Cost Loans for Water Infrastructure Projects
Legislation Would Help Advance Water Management Efforts across the Country
WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have introduced legislation to reauthorize the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). The bill would help stimulate investment in water infrastructure, such as flood control, storm water management and wastewater treatment, by supplementing federal funding with long-term, low-cost loans and loan guarantees.
“Our legislation helps ensure state and local governments have access to flexible funding sources when building their water infrastructure,” said Senator Hoeven. “WIFIA represents an opportunity to advance vital projects across North Dakota, like comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley and the Minot Region, while also helping to reduce costs.”
“This bipartisan bill will help jumpstart much needed investment in aging drinking and wastewater infrastructure in New Jersey and in communities across the country,” said Senator Booker. “Updating WIFIA will also go a long way in expediting funding for critical projects that protect communities from flooding, something New Jersey families and businesses know the importance of all too well.”
WIFIA first became law as part of the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development (WRRDA) Act, which authorized the program under both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. To date, the EPA’s program has supported $2.3 billion in loans, helping to leverage state, local and private funding and resulting in $5.1 billion in project investments.
However, the Corps has been unable to implement the program to date. The Hoeven-Booker bill would consolidate the administration of the EPA and Corps WIFIA programs and make these loans available for an additional five years, through FY2024. This would allow the Corps to rely on the EPA’s administrative infrastructure and begin identifying projects that are eligible for support.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Brian Mast (R-Fla.) and a bipartisan group of representatives, including Representatives Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Julia Brownley (D-Calif.).
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