The House of Representatives on March 5 approved legislation authorizing $19.4 billion to fund wastewater infrastructure over the next five years. The House voted 317 to 101 to approve the measure, which would authorize $13.8 billion over five years for the Clean Water state revolving funds (SRF), the principal source of federal funding for wastewater infrastructure.

The bill also would provide more than $2.5 billion over five years in grants to address combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows and $750 million over five years for remediation of contaminated sediments in the Great Lakes region.

Introduced just March 3 by Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the bill has had a swift ascent through the House. But no comparable bill has yet been introduced in the Senate. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee did approve a measure authorizing $36.5 billion for the Clean and Drinking Water SRFs during the last session of Congress, but a new bill would need to be introduced and approved in the Senate during this session of before the bill could become law. 

An amendment offered by Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) to eliminate all Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provisions from the bill was defeated by a large margin (140-284).