Trump authorizes $6B of water infrastructure projects
President Donald Trump has signed America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, authorizing almost $6 billion of projects. The act includes Army Corps of Engineers projects under the $3.6 billion Water Resources Development Act and reauthorization of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, which authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to loan money for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure construction.
The projects listed in the act still must apply for funding, but potential initiatives include the $15.6 million Houston-Galveston Navigation Channel Extension; the $306.5 million Ala Wai Canal project in Hawaii; $922 million replacement lock at Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; and the $3.2 billion Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay hurricane and flood risk reduction project in Texas. The Galveston Bay project would see the largest federal outlay — $2.2 billion — for the "coastal spine." The act also unauthorizes about $4 billion of stalled or defunct projects.
At the signing this week, Trump said the legislation is a "major step" toward fixing America's infrastructure and that the act would provide the money and tools to upgrade coastal ports; reduce flooding; repair ecosystems; restore and maintain inland waterways; overhaul dams, hydropower and irrigation systems; and improve drinking water infrastructure. The president also touted the bill's "Buy American" provisions, which includes a five-year mandate to use American-made steel and iron on projects built under the act.
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