(June 11, 2019) - President Trump signed a long-awaited legislative package (H.R. 2157) on June 6, which provides $19.1 Billion in supplemental disaster relief to states and communities impacted by recent natural disasters. These include Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Yutu, and wildfires and earthquakes that occurred in 2018.
The bill had been delayed throughout the first half of 2019 by partisan infighting and disagreement over funding levels, allocations, and emergency border aid. The final deal, now law, includes $349.4 Million of additional funding for the clean and drinking water state revolving funds (SRFs) in impacted states, providing new resources for clean and drinking water system recovery and improving their resiliency to flood risk, fire risk, natural disasters and rapid hydrologic change.
The bill also requires that between 20 and 30 percent of each SRF capitalization grant to states be used to provide additional subsidization to eligible recipients in the form of principal forgiveness, negative interest loans and/or grants. NACWA has long supported providing more SRF funds in the form of additional subsidization and is very pleased with its inclusion in the package.
Other provisions in the new law include $5 Million in Clean Water Act Section 106 Grants to delegated states to administer their water pollution control programs, $3 Billion for farmers to help cover crop losses, and provisions aimed at getting federal disaster recovery dollars out into communities more quickly in Puerto Rico.
NACWA will continue monitoring the ongoing disaster and resiliency conversations in Congress and advocating for the needs of clean water agencies. To further advance this conversation within the water sector, NACWA and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) are collaborating on a webinar series beginning this fall focused on resilience and security issues. Watch for more details and registration later this summer.
Contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic, NACWA’s Legislative Directors, to discuss these issues further.