WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) applauded passage of the Water Infrastructure Improvements Act for the Nation (WIIN), legislation that will modernize water infrastructure and address flood prevention. The bill passed the Senate on a 78-21 vote early Saturday morning and includes the Water Resources Development Act, which passed the Senate earlier this year.
“The WIIN Act invests in critical water infrastructure, including waterways, flood protection and other resources, in a commonsense, bipartisan way. These important projects will bring vitality to our economy and support needed improvements in communities across the country,” said Senator Capito.
“Of particular importance to West Virginia, this bill gives states authority and certainty when regulating coal ash, calls for a study of flood risk management projects within the Kanawha River Basin, authorizes funding for the high hazard dams across West Virginia that are important to the state’s economy, and addresses drinking water infrastructure issues.”
The WIIN Act includes several bipartisan provisions that benefit West Virginia, including:
Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams: Authorizes $445 million over ten years for FEMA program for rehabilitation of high hazard potential dams, including 422 dams in West Virginia. Senator Capito championed this provision with Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.).
Kanawha River Basin: Directs the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct studies to determine the feasibility of implementing projects for flood risk management and other water resource related purposes within the Kanawha River Basin, including West Virginia. Senators Capito and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) authored this provision.
Approval of State Programs for Coal Ash Disposal: Authorizes EPA to review and approve state permitting programs for coal ash disposal units. EPA currently lacks authority to approve state permitting programs.
Projects Funded by the Inland Waterways Trust Fund: Prevents other inland waterways projects, including projects in West Virginia, from being delayed while other projects are completed.
Disposition Studies: Requires studies by the Army Corps of Engineers to include a review of the economic and recreational significance and national, state or local impacts, and understands the full impact of Corps facilities before making any decision to dispose of them.