U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement after the Senate passed, S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, through a bipartisan vote of 99-1. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives by voice vote in September, now heads to the president’s desk.
Working closely with leaders on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, including Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Murkowski secured a number of water infrastructure and hydropower-related provisions that will benefit Alaska.
“This important legislation will provide safe drinking water for our communities and invest in needed water infrastructure, ranging from ports to water storage, in Alaska and all across our country,” Murkowski said. “I’m also pleased that this bill includes a number of hydropower provisions, which will streamline the permitting process, reduce costs, and allow for the continued consideration of the Mahoney Lake project. I’m proud of our work on this bill and look forward to the president signing it into law.”
Among the provisions included in the bill are:
- S. 724, a bill to amend the Federal Power Act to streamline authorizations for necessary hydropower approvals, sponsored by Sen. Murkowski;
- S. 215, a bill to authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue an order continuing a stay of a hydroelectric license for the Mahoney Lake hydroelectric project in the State of Alaska, sponsored by Sen. Murkowski and cosponsored by Sen. Sullivan;
- A provision to encourage utilities to take early action to make needed investments in existing hydropower projects, including efficiency, capacity, environmental, and safety upgrades;
- A provision to address the high cost of construction in remote areas of Alaska, and high demand for projects, by increasing the total amount of funding authorized to ensure regional economic impacts;
- A provision to require the completion of a feasibility study to be expedited for the Nome port and Lowell Creek tunnel, among other non-Alaska projects, and if the project is deemed justified, speeds up the process of proceeding to preconstruction planning, engineering, and design; and
- A provision to mandate that the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works provide a report, within one year of enactment of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, about how to improve and expedite certain waiver processes.
Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Click here for the text of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.