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What’s Next with AWIA?

Now that America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) is firmly on the books, what next steps can/will/need to be taken to get the implementation ball rolling?

Numerous provisions received authorizations for new or enhanced funding.  These, however, are all dependent on funds being appropriated.  There’s little likelihood that those appropriations will happen this year.  So, enhanced funding for programs like PWSS, DWSRF, and new grant programs for risk and resilience, innovative technologies, UCMR monitoring, and the drinking water fountain replacement initiative will not be among EPA’s first actions in meeting AWIA requirements.

Where we are likely to see early EPA actions would be in the DWSRF Fund Eligibility and Uses Section.  Look for information from EPA on the maximum/minimum allotments for disadvantaged community assistance; the addition of replacement/rehab of aging treatment, storage, or distribution facilities; extensions of loan amortization terms; and updates on source water protection area delineations and assessments.  At a later date, look for information on the new Best Practices for State Loan Fund Administration provisions.  EPA will be working on this effort over the next three years.  Similarly, the next Needs Survey will have to contain information on lead service line replacement costs.

Other early action provisions relate to the electronic delivery portion ONLY of the new CCR requirements.  The readability and twice yearly requirements will require more thought and timely discussion as will provisions related to corrosion control and corrective action.  Asset management provisions under SDWA §1420 will also be taken up fairly quickly to add new language for states to describe how they will encourage development/use of asset management plans and assist systems to implement such plans.  Finally, EPA plans to begin work soon on the compliance monitoring data provisions that calls for them to develop a strategic plan to improve the accuracy and availability of compliance monitoring data.

ASDWA will continue to keep you informed as these programs and initiatives get underway.