Congress Passes FY21 Spending and COVID Relief Package

Both chambers of Congress have passed the $1.4 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2021 as well as the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. After a seven-day stopgap funding measure was passed and signed on Monday to avoid the risk of a government shutdown over Christmas, President Trump now has until the end of the day on December 28th to sign the omnibus legislation. The bill would provide the EPA with an almost 2 percent funding boost above current levels, maintaining or increasing funding for many water-related programs. This includes: US Congress passes $15bn Save Our Stages aid | IQ Magazine

  • $1.126 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) (equal to FY20)
  • $1.639 billion for the Clean Water SRF (equal to FY20)
  • $65 million for WIFIA ($5 million increase from FY20)
  • $112 million for Public Water System Supervision Grant ($5.75 million increase from FY20)

For a detailed comparison of relevant EPA program funding from 2020 to 2021, see the FY21 EPA Appropriations Summary Chart prepared by ASDWA. The 5,593-page bill text available here: Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021.

The spending deal also provides funding for the Department of Agriculture which includes $1.45 billion for rural water and waste program loans and more than $620 million in water and waste grants for clean and reliable drinking water systems and sanitary waste disposal systems. Congress also provided the Department of Health and Human Services $638 million to carry out a Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program. The program will make grants to states and tribes to assist low-income households with bills for drinking water and wastewater services by providing funds to owners or operators of public water systems and treatment works to reduce arrearages of and rates charged to households identified as low-income.

Congress incorporated some additional legislation in the massive package, including the 2020 Water Resource Development Act which focuses on Army Corps of Engineers projects.