On March 31, the Biden Administration introduced the American Jobs Plan, with the hopes of investing in jobs for Americans to rebuild our economy and create opportunities.
The package of proposed infrastructure funding is around 2 trillion dollars, with $621 billion proposed for transportation. A smaller, but equally important, proposal is $111 billion for water infrastructure.
While quite a few of the remaining funding areas are being openly challenged, the allocations for Transportation and Water Infrastructure are likely to receive bipartisan support and should survive into the final approved legislation.
Of the $111 billion proposed, the funding is spread out over the four basic initiatives to support Water Infrastructure:
$45 billion for the elimination of all lead pipes and service lines. Some of this work is underway, Newark, New Jersey, for example, has a strong ongoing program. However, older urban areas still have work to be done due to their water distribution systems that have been in use for over 100 years.
$10 billion to monitor and remediate drinking water contaminants and invest in small, rural water systems. Some of the funding will be focused on areas where PFAS contamination has been found in municipal drinking water wells.
$56 billion to upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems. This segment appears to be a more broad-based general fund to deal with crumbling water infrastructure, for example, combined stormwater systems in older northeastern cities.
$16 billion to plug abandoned oil and gas wells that have the potential to contaminate local groundwater sources. This initiative will focus heavily on oil-producing states like Texas and Oklahoma. There are tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells all across the United States.
A statement from the White House provides a breakdown of what is being proposed in the American Jobs Plan.
“FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan.” The White House, The United States Government, 8 Apr. 2021, www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/31/fact-sheet-the-american-jobs-plan/.
Zerrenner, Kate. “What's Crucial in Biden's Infrastructure Bill: Water Investments.” TriplePundit, 6 Apr. 2021, www.triplepundit.com/story/2021/infrastructure-bill-water/720666.