Duckworth Statement after Voting to Pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that Includes Her Priorities to Clean Up Our Water and Make Transit Accessible for All
[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works’ (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water & Wildlife that has jurisdiction over the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act and author of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA)—which passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 89-2 in April 2021—issued the following statement after voting for the bipartisan infrastructure deal, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
“This bipartisan compromise makes significant and substantial investments in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, fixing our roads and bridges, ensuring that students and working families have broadband access and—thanks to the inclusion of my Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which already passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 89-2—upgrading our nation’s water systems,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud that provisions of my bill included in this package provide billions in new funding to help states invest in, repair and update their drinking water and wastewater systems—contributing to the biggest investment in water in our nation’s history.”
She continued, “With this bipartisan compromise one step closer to becoming law, I remain committed to ensuring many Environmental Justice communities—like those in Illinois that overflow with dangerous raw sewage whenever there is a heavy rain— aren't left behind. Moving forward, I am committed to doing everything in my power and working with my colleagues to ensure these communities get the help they so desperately need.”
Duckworth-secured provisions and priorities included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
- Fully authorizes Duckworth’s bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA), which would help rebuild our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure.
- $15 billion for lead service line replacement in direct funding to the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.
- Authorization of over $500 million in lead testing and reductions programs, including in schools.
- $4 billion to address PFAS in drinking water through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
- $5 billion for small and disadvantaged communities to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS.
- $1 billion to address emerging contaminants in wastewater through the Clean Water SRF.
- Billions more invested in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF).
- All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act: Establishes a discretionary grant program for legacy rail fixed guideway public transportation systems (transit and commuter rail) to improve accessibility at existing rail stations. The program is funded at $1.75 billion over 5 years.
- Congestion Relief Program: Provides $50 million per year ($250 million over 5 years) in dedicated funding for competitive grants to States and local governments that advance innovative, integrated and multimodal solutions to congestion relief in major metropolitan areas.
- TIFIA for Airports: Extends TIFIA credit assistance to major U.S. airport projects (runways and terminals) to accelerate project delivery. Providing access to cheaper capital for major projects extends taxpayer dollars to create more jobs and economic benefits.
- Amtrak Board of Directors Disability Advocate Seat: Secures a permanent seat on the Amtrak Board of Directors to represent the voice of the disability community.
- Amtrak Accessibility Upgrade Funding: Requires Amtrak to budget at least $50 million per year ($250 million over 5 years) for accessibility upgrades to stations across its system.
- Automatic Emergency Braking in Commercial Vehicles: Requires new automatic emergency braking (AEB) standards for heavy commercial motor vehicles (>10,000 lbs) to significantly improve roadway safety.
- Crash Avoidance Technology: Requires that all new passenger motor vehicles be equipped with crash avoidance technologies, including forward collision warning and advanced emergency braking systems, as well as lane departure and lane assist systems. Reflects provisions of the Durbin-Duckworth Protecting Roadside First Responders Act (S.1386).
- Roadside Safety Programs: Expands funding roadside safety programs, including deployment of digital alert technologies and education campaigns. Reflects provisions of the Durbin-Duckworth Protecting Roadside First Responders Act (S.1386).
- Removal of Local Hiring Prohibition: Removes an outdated prohibition on geographical and economic hiring considerations for federal highway construction projects.
- Human Capital Planning: Encourages State DOTs to develop a plan for short- and long-term personnel and transportation workforce dynamics.
- Transparency in Planning Pilot Program: Reinforces data-driven transportation planning through implementation of transparent project evaluation and prioritization processes. Increases public trust in taxpayer-funded infrastructure decisions by maximizing return-on-investment.
- Autonomous Vehicle Transportation Impacts Study: Requires USODT to coordinate with relevant federal agencies to study the potential impacts of expanded autonomous vehicle use on roadway infrastructure, congestion, pollution and other factors.
- Grade Crossing Improvements: Eliminates the local cost share for the railway-highway crossing improvement projects and increases the amount of funds states can use to survey and inspect viaducts and crossings.
- Rail Research and Development Center of Excellence: Requires USDOT to establish and maintain a center of excellence to advance research and development of passenger/freight rail safety, efficiency and reliability solutions.
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspection Training and Support: Provides discretionary grants to nonprofit organizations that provide training to State Highway Troopers and other non-Federal employees who conduct commercial motor vehicle enforcement activities.
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