House Committee Approves Drinking Water Legislation
House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H. R. 5320, the Assistance,
Quality, And Affordability Act Of 2010, or Aqua Act. The legislation
originally authorized $14.7 billion dollars over five years for the EPA
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF). Due to objections from Republican
committee members, changes were approved by the bi-partisan leadership of the
committee to lower the proposal to $4.8 billion over three years and scale back
provisions involving mitigation and treatment of endocrine disrupting
chemicals, which are increasingly showing up in water systems
nationwide. Instead, the legislation calls for additional EPA studies on
presence of the these substances in drinking water are largely thought to be
result of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, which resurface in
tap water after being flushed down toilets or drains. These products are among those
targeted for user fees to finance H.R. 3202, the
AGC-supported water trust fund legislation.
AGC’s opposition, the committee accepted an amendment offered by Representative
Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) and other members that applied “Buy American”
requirements modeled after the Recovery Act. The legislation also applies
Davis Bacon prevailing wages to SRF federal assistance.
the inclusion of Recovery Act “Buy American” language and decreased
authorization level is disappointing, passage of this legislation signifies an
important development in continuing to move forward on a full reauthorization
of both the Clean Water SRF, which has passed the full House in H.R. 1262, and
companion legislation reauthorizing both programs in S.1005, which is
currently stalled in the Senate.
anticipates that this legislation will move to the floor of the House for a
vote by the full body in the near term. Prospects for movement on the Senate
SRF bill are improving with the House committee’s passage of the Aqua Act. AGC
and the WIN Coalition are still working steadfastly to bring the Senate bill to
the floor for a vote in this Congress.
For more information, contact Perry L. Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 837-5321.
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