U.S. House to Consider WIFIA Legislation

capitolThe U.S. House is expected to consider the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2013 very soon. The U.S. Senate passed the WRDA legislation in May, which includes the creation of a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA) pilot program. The House is expected to consider WRDA in the late summer or early fall.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) called WIFIA’s passage in the Senate a “huge step forward” for water consumers and urged broad support as the legislation heads to the House. “WIFIA would repair more critical water infrastructure at a lower cost to our communities. With so many of our nation’s water pipes in need of replacement, WIFIA will benefit everyone who receives a water bill,” said AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance in an AWWA release.

WIFIA would leverage $50 million of annual appropriations over five years for low-interest loans on major water and wastewater infrastructure projects. It would also help community water systems of all sizes by providing an alternative funding mechanism for the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs to leverage for the completion of projects with costs greater than $20 million. In order to provide increased flexibility to predominantly rural states, SRF programs experiencing an increased demand for loan funds would also have the ability to access WIFIA financing by aggregating the costs of multiple smaller cost projects to reach a combined loan amount of $20 million or more. WIFIA is modeled after the Transportation Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (TIFIA), which was authorized in 1998. WIFIA would borrow U.S. Treasury funds to provide low-interest loans, loan guarantees, or other credit support to local communities.

Look for further development as the U.S. House takes action on WRDA (S.601) later this year. Or, find additional information on the AWWA’s website by clicking here.

– See more at: https://www.ae2snexus.com/TheSource/2013/July/SenateWIFIA.htm#sthash.nVeHV2Zm.dpuf