Earlier this month, Central Washington’s Dan Newhouse, and California Representative John Garamendi introduced House Resolution 2979 which will amend the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014. Newhouse said the legislation will make public water projects eligible for low interest, long-term federal loans from the EPA. The chair of the House western Caucus pointed out that much of the water infrastructure across the west is nearly, or over 100 years old, meaning a lot of maintenance, or even replacement needs to take place. H.R. 2979, he said, will provided the assistance that those local districts need to finance that vital work.

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Newhouse pointed out the legislation provides long-term loans as well as extending the payoff period, making those loans more affordable.

“You know, a lot of these things are not going to be cheap to do, but they are absolutely essential that we accomplish this work so that we can continue to allow our economies to grow to be able to feed a growing population, and to respond to many of the changes that we’re seeing naturally in our climate.”

Newhouse pointed out that H.R. 2979, is bipartisan legislation, and he’s delighted Republicans and Democrats are able to come together on an issue that can be very contentious.

“I’ve been witness to some really positive, successful efforts in our own back yard in the state of Washington.  You know, the Yakima Basin Enhancement effort is a great example of diverse groups coming together and being able to find common ground so that we can make progress on issues that are truly important and critical for people that live in our state.”

Newhouse added the WIFIA Improvement Act would allow water projects with longer useful life cycles to receive federal financing for 55-year loan terms instead of the current 35-year term.




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