Annapolis, Md. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the INVEST in America Act, bipartisan legislation that would invest $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure projects across the United States. The bill would support projects to repair and upgrade roads, bridges and transit systems, as well as drinking water and environmental remediation.
The bill includes approximately $55 billion for clean water infrastructure investments, including additional tens of billions of dollars for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds, federal-state partnership programs which provide communities with financing to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and reduce pollution. In addition, the bill would provide an additional $238 million for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program over the next five fiscal years. The bill also includes provisions to upgrade energy infrastructure and to help communities mitigate the impacts of climate change such as flooding, wildfires and droughts.
Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn celebrated the Senate’s passage of the infrastructure bill, stating,
“I applaud the Senate for passing this historic and bipartisan legislation to invest in America’s infrastructure, including its water infrastructure and green infrastructure. The Chesapeake Bay is our region’s most important natural resource. The health of the Bay and its rivers and tributaries, and the health of the whole Chesapeake Bay watershed, is critical to the health of our people, our communities and our local economies.
“This badly needed investment in America’s infrastructure will directly benefit communities in the Chesapeake Bay and help us to improve both our gray infrastructure like drinking water and wastewater systems as well as green infrastructure like forests and riparian buffers. This funding is a game-changer for the Bay and will substantially boost our shared efforts – on the local, state and federal level – to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.
“The clean water and climate investments in this bill could not come at a timelier moment, on the heels of the August 9th report issued by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which finds that global warming will lead to greater and more frequent storms and other climate disruptions in the coming decades. Global climate change puts our infrastructure, our economies, our environment and our health at imminent risk. This legislation will help communities to mitigate these impending climate impacts to protect people and to protect our natural resources like the Chesapeake Bay.
“I thank our Chesapeake Bay watershed Senators, including Senator Capito, Senator Cardin, Senator Carper, Senator Casey, Senator Coons, Senator Casey, Senator Kaine, Senator Gillibrand, Senator Manchin, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Warner and Senator Van Hollen for their advocacy for the Bay watershed and for their leadership in advancing and passing this historic legislation.”