Congress Passes Disaster Aid Bill With Funds for Drinking Water

Yesterday, the House passed a $19.1 billion disaster aid package that includes a DWSRF boost for some states. President Trump has said he supports the bill and is expected to sign it.

The legislation includes an additional $296 million in Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWRSF) monies that will be made available to communities in EPA regions 4, 9, and 10 that were impacted in 2018 by hurricanes, wildfires and/or earthquakes. EPA will distribute the DWSRF funds to eligible states with drinking water systems affected by natural disasters. Between 20 and 30 percent of the funding must be issued as grants or negative interest loans and must be used on projects that “reduce flood or fire damage risk and vulnerability or to enhance resiliency to rapid hydrologic change or natural disaster.” In addition to the DWSRF funds, the bill includes $53.3 million in Clean Water SRF dollars for wastewater systems under the same conImage result for US congressditions, for the same purpose.

Along with funding for Puerto Rico’s rebuilding after Hurricane Maria, the legislation provides $4.6 billion to help farmers and rural communities, $3.25 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers disaster mitigation projects, $3.2 billion to rebuild military bases and Coast Guard facilities and $2.4 billion for Community Development Block Grants that will help communities rebuild homes and businesses.