Congress passes AFS-supported water infrastructure package

A comprehensive water infrastructure bill backed by AFS won resounding support from Congress.  

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved America’s Water Infrastructure Act (S. 3021), which provides more than $6 billion in funding for water infrastructure projects nationwide. The bipartisan measure passed the Senate Oct. 10 by a vote of 99-1 after receiving unanimous approval by the House of Representatives in September.

The AFS-backed package provides for key investments in our nation’s water infrastructure, including ports, harbors, dams, and inland waterways, as well as important improvements for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. President Trump is expected to sign the bill soon.

AFS CEO Doug Kurkul welcomed the legislation, noting it marks an important step forward to rebuild America’s infrastructure. “This bill is good for our infrastructure, good for jobs and good for U.S. metalcasters producing castings for these vital infrastructure and water projects,” Kurkul said.

AFS actively supported an extension of the bill’s “Buy American” provision through FY2023, requiring all iron and steel used in water infrastructure projects be American-made when funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Eligible projects under this federal-state partnership include improving drinking water treatment, fixing or replacing old pipes, improving the source of the water supply, and other infrastructure projects needed to protect public health. AFS also advocated for the bill’s two-year reauthorization of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program and a new, three-year reauthorization of the DWSRF program. An AFS-supported, $8 million grant program for small and disadvantaged communities to support drinking water infrastructure also was approved.

Investing in infrastructure is one of the priority issues the society advocated for throughout the 115th Congress and which was supported by AFS members at the 2018 AFS Government Affairs Fly-In in Washington, D.C.

View the AFS Advocacy video here.