Jul 29, 2021

President Biden & Bipartisan Group Announce Agreement on Infrastructure Package

There is dedicated funding in the infrastructure package to replace lead service lines and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

drinking water

The Senate has voted to begin work on a national infrastructure plan, which includes $550 billion in new infrastructure spending.

This comes after weeks of negotiations between the White House and a bipartisan group of senators, which have now agreed on major provisions of the package, according to The White House fact sheet about the plan. 

According to The White House fact sheet, the deal will add, on average, around 2 million jobs per year over the course of the decade. This package marks the largest investment, $55 billion, in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history.

According to The White House, there are currently up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers that lack safe drinking water. There is dedicated funding in the infrastructure package to replace lead service lines and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

A key part of this package is its focus on resilience and western water infrastructure. According to The White House fact sheet,  the deal will make communities safer and U.S. infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber attacks with an investment of over $50 billion. The fact sheet also recognizes that people of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. 

These funds will protect against droughts and floods, in addition to investing in weatherization. 

According to The White House Fact sheet, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are idle and sources of major pollution in communities. Another aspect of the plan is that the deal invests $21 billion in environmental remediation, addressing this pollution.

Industry associations such as The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and The American Clean Power Association (ACP) applaud the bipartisan group of Senators for coming to an agreement on the infrastructure package. 

"The American Clean Power Association welcomes the announcement that Senate and White House negotiators have reached a deal on an infrastructure package, it is great to see Washington working again on a bipartisan basis,” said ACP in its statement. “We are excited about the important clean energy provisions that will create good-paying jobs, boost domestic manufacturing, and enhance critical transmission lines needed to accommodate the rapid growth of renewable energy projects across the country.” 

According to ASCE, the agreed-upon $55 billion in new spending will make a significant impact on improving almost all of the categories featured in ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The nation earned a grade of ‘C-,’ which it aims to improve. 

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