By Lauren Schapker, vice president of legislative affairs, ARTBA

The Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee May 6 unanimously approved America’s Water Infrastructure Act 2020 (AWIA 2020) and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (DWIA).

AWIA 2020 would authorize $17 billion for marine transportation infrastructure and disaster mitigation projects, and other programs set to expire Sept. 30. The legislation would allow 14 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects to move to construction and over 130 more to proceed to the next steps of required approvals.

DWIA, if enacted, would authorize $2.5 billion in funds for communities to help improve the quality of and access to drinking water. It would create a $50 million discretionary grant program for planning, design, or construction of public water systems

“Our committee has taken a significant step to improve our dams, ports, flood-prevention infrastructure, reservoirs, and drinking water systems,” said EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

Barrasso also used the action to call on the Senate to consider America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act, the $287 billion legislation that would reauthorize highway programs for five years. “These bills, along with our bipartisan highway infrastructure legislation, should be considered by the full Senate, after the immediate health crisis is behind us,” he said.