Indianapolis, Ind. – Today, President Trump signed into law a bipartisan provision led by U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly that will help improve the timeliness and predictability of permitting for some infrastructure projects. The provision, which was included as part of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, was one Donnelly introduced as standalone legislation with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) in March. It permanently authorizes a program to allow for dedicated funding for review of permit applications with the Army Corps of Engineers for public utility infrastructure projects.
Donnelly said, “Our nation’s roads, bridges, highways, and water and energy infrastructure are in desperate need of repair. This provision will help cut through red tape, speeding up the permitting process for important infrastructure projects without undermining safety or costing taxpayers a dime. I was proud to work with Senator Portman to get this across the finish line and signed into law by President Trump so we can get to work rebuilding our infrastructure.”
Under current law, public utilities, natural gas companies, and railroads can provide financing for permitting reviews to potentially speed up the process, however, the authorization for that financing mechanism is scheduled to expire in 2024. The Donnelly-Portman provision will permanently extend this authorization.
Other Hoosier priorities secured by Donnelly in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, signed into law today, include the following:
- Investments in the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund are nearly doubled to $1.95 billion by 2021, providing needed investments in communities across the state;
- Expands the lead in schools testing program to assist schools in their efforts to reduce lead contamination, including the replacement of drinking water fountains;
- Authorizes $550 million for sewer overflow control grants, which are needed by Hoosier communities, both large and small, in every part of the state;
- Directs the Army Corps to use its existing authorities to remedy the erosion issues on the Ohio River near Clarksville;
- Updates the authorizations for the control of invasive species like Asian carp at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam and for needed upgrades at the Soo Locks, which are vital to the flow of commerce in the Great Lakes.