WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today joined President Joe Biden at the White House as he signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which the Senate passed this summer and the House passed earlier this month. Senator Capito released the below statement following the event:
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act reflects our commitment to keeping Americans safe, improving our global competitiveness, and growing our economy. It also includes significant wins that will benefit West Virginia. This bill will upgrade roads and bridges; address aging water and wastewater systems; support our airports and ports; and connect rural America with broadband infrastructure in order to finally close the digital divide. As Ranking Member of the EPW Committee, I’m especially proud my committee’s surface transportation reauthorization bill and water and wastewater infrastructure bill are the foundation of this package. I was proud to witness the signing into law of this important piece of legislation—which marks the culmination of a process that began months ago during my negotiations with President Biden. This historic, bipartisan legislation will deliver transformative wins for West Virginia and the rest of the nation for decades to come.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is built around two critical infrastructure bills crafted by the EPW Committee—the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 (STRA), which passed the committee unanimously, as well as the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA 2021), which passed the EPW Committee unanimously and the Senate 89 to 2. Senator Capito began negotiations with President Biden earlier this year, which led to the final bipartisan infrastructure package that ultimately was signed into law today. She also served as the Republican floor manager during the debate process on the Senate floor.
Click here for Senator Capito’s statement following its passage in the Senate, and click here for a one-pager on how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit West Virginia.
HOW WEST VIRGINIA WILL BENEFIT:
- Includes the EPW-passed surface transportation legislation that provides $303.5 billion over five years for federal highway programs, which is a 35% increase over current law. For West Virginia, the state will receive $3.013 billion in highway formula funding over five years.
- Ensures that 90% of the funding in the EPW bill is distributed by formula, giving states much need certainty to plan and execute road and bridge projects.
- Includes $40 billion in dedicated resources for bridges, which is the single largest investment in bridge infrastructure since the construction of the interstate system. Of the portion of this funding that is distributed by formula, West Virginia will receive $506 million over five years specifically for bridge infrastructure.
- Creates a new $2 billion Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program that will dedicate resources to the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) and other critical projects across rural America. On top of this funding, West Virginia will receive $195 million, which will be used to help complete projects like Corridor H.
- Includes numerous provisions to expedite the delivery of critical surface transportation projects.
- Codifies One Federal Decision for highway and bridge projects, which sets a two-year goal for completing the environmental review and permitting process for major projects and requires agencies to coordinate on a predictable, joint schedule.
- Includes the text of the EPW- and Senate-passed water infrastructure legislation. Combined with the additional funding, the overall package includes a total of $48.4 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure. This package represents the largest investment in clean drinking water in our nation’s history.
- Invests in innovative technologies and provides assistance to marginalized communities.
- Provides flexibility so both rural and urban areas can best address their needs.
- Includes a large infusion into the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), which West Virginia will stand to benefit from. Specifically, the bill authorizes $143,104,000 over five years of Drinking Water SRF funds and $223,230,000 over five years of SRF funds for West Virginia.
- Includes funding dedicated to lead pipe remediation and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) cleanup.
- Provides initial funding of at least $100 million for broadband deployment in addition to formula-based funding for West Virginia. West Virginia’s unserved and underserved areas would be first and second in line, respectively, to then receive formula-based funding, through the U.S. Department of Commerce.
- Provides dedicated funding to rural areas through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ReConnect program, which Senator Capito helped create and secure funds in the FY2018, FY2019, and FY2020 budgets as a leader on the Appropriations Committee.
- Spurs investment in rural broadband projects by allowing state and local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance public-private rural broadband projects. The package also allows the federal government to assist state and local governments in bond payments, a provision based on legislation previously authored by Senator Capito.
- Ensures rate transparency for consumers by directing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action to ensure providers label price and subscription rates in a clear and understandable way.
- Invests $2.48 billion in primary airports each year for five years, which includes Charleston, Huntington, Lewisburg, and Clarksburg.
- Invests $20 million to airports participating in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Contract Tower Program, which includes Wheeling Ohio County, Morgantown, Parkersburg/Wood County, and Greenbrier Valley.
- Invests $500 million in general aviation and commercial services at not primary airports.
- Invests $500 million in non-hub and non-primary airports, through the Airport Terminal Program.
- Reauthorizes the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program and provides billions of dollars to clean up abandoned mine sites.
- Authorizes funding for a new program to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells.
- Boosts carbon capture infrastructure by investing in the development of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) infrastructure as a critical means of reducing carbon emissions while creating regional economic opportunities and jobs.
- Bolsters domestic critical mineral supply by furthering the research and development of critical minerals innovations in an effort to lessen our dependence upon countries like China for these resources.
- Brings much-needed critical mineral permitting reform on federal land and puts in place policies that not only improve efficiency, but also put America’s economic and national security interests first.
- Provides significant funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to address our nation’s water resources needs.
- Provides $2.5 billion for USACE projects to improve the inland waterway system.
- Provides $200 million for environmental infrastructure assistance authorities under the USACE, including the three authorities in West Virginia that support water and wastewater improvement projects.
- Includes language Senator Capito authored to reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
- Provides $1 billion to the ARC for economic and community development activities in Appalachia, including broadband deployment.
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