CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today applauded the passage of several key pieces of legislation that address environmental and infrastructure needs. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 omnibus government funding bill, which passed the Senate last night, included several EPW-related measures Senator Capito co-sponsored and supported, including:

  • The American Manufacturing and Innovation (AIM) Act, which would implement a 15-year phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at a national level for the first time, administered by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Clean Industrial Technology Act (CITA), legislation Senator Capito introduced in July 2019 to unleash innovation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources and make American companies more competitive in the global economy.
  • Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal Technologies (REEACT) Act, which would help identify and extract rare earth elements from coal ash and other byproducts.

ON WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: “Strengthening America’s infrastructure has traditionally been a bipartisan priority because of the enormous benefits such projects can generate. The Water Resources Development Act makes important updates to our nation’s water resources infrastructure and provides resources that will benefit the health and wellbeing of West Virginians and others in communities across the country. I’m glad to see this legislation included as part of the final bill to fund the federal government.”

ON ENVIRONENTAL INNOVATION: “Mitigating both air pollution and climate change has been and remains a top priority of the EPW Committee. I’m glad to see this government funding agreement include several pieces of legislation I co-sponsored, including the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act and Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), that will help us accomplish this goal in a responsible way. This agreement to include these pieces of environmental legislation demonstrates that we are making significant progress to address this issue in a bipartisan, commonsense way. DERA will help West Virginia communities update ageing school and municipal buses for cleaner, modern vehicles, while the USE IT Act will facilitate carbon dioxide pipelines to provide the backbone infrastructure needed to grow CCUS and a carbon economy, reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Both pieces of legislation are major wins for air quality and climate, and I was proud to play a role in each.”


WRDA 2020 supports our nation’s economic competitiveness by increasing water storage, providing protection from dangerous floodwaters, deepening nationally significant ports, maintaining the navigability of inland waterways, and addressing the threat of invasive species across the country. It also cuts red tape, is fiscally responsible, and strengthens our national security.

Provisions Senator Capito secured in the final WRDA legislation include: 

  • Increases the authorization cap for both the Central and Southern West Virginia environmental infrastructure programs. This was the direct result of Senator Capito’s efforts and represents $160 million in authorizations for water and wastewater projects in West Virginia.
  • Changes the cost-share for construction of navigation projects on inland waterways, which will allow for more funding to—and potentially expedited construction of—locks and dams on inland waterways. This is beneficial to inland states like West Virginia that depend on these structures to move commercial and energy goods.
  • A provision to allow for Army Corps evaluation of changes proposed by non-Federal interests to facilitate non-Federal hydropower production. This language would allow for an evaluation on the part of Army Corps of operational changes at Army Corps projects to facilitate non-Federal hydropower, upon the request of the relevant non-Federal interest.


The USE IT Act supports carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill also supports federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines. The USE IT Act was introduced by Senators Capito, Barrasso, Carper, Whitehouse, and several other senators.  

The DERA program has reduced black carbon emissions by more than 11,000 tons and carbon dioxide by more than 5 million tons. The legislation will reauthorize this important program until 2024.

The HFC provisions will authorize a 15-year phasedown of HFCs at a national level for the first time, administered by EPA. The amendment requires EPA to implement an 85 percent phasedown of the production and consumption of HFCs, so they reach approximately 15 percent of their 2011-2013 average annual levels by 2036. 

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