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Senator Hyde-Smith votes to renew...

Senator Hyde-Smith votes to renew federal water, wastewater infrastructure programs

By: Magnolia Tribune - April 30, 2021

As Appropriator, Senator Has Role in Funding Programs Benefitting Miss. Communities

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted for Senate passage of legislation to reauthorize a series of federal water and wastewater infrastructure programs that benefit Mississippi communities.

The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (S.914) passed on a 89-2 vote.  The bill renews programs administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help communities finance water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

“Mississippi communities, both rural and urban, as well as water associations use federal programs like the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and others to afford much needed improvements to their systems,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds EPA programs.

“The capital, resources, and technical assistance outlined in the bill help Mississippi deliver basic quality of life services to our citizens while meeting federal requirements regarding public health, water supply safety, and watershed protection,” the Senator said.  “I look forward to this important and bipartisan legislation making it to the President’s desk.”

In addition to the popular state revolving fund programs, the legislation authorizes funding increases for a variety of programs that, among other things, aid small and disadvantaged communities.

Most recently, Hyde-Smith worked on the FY2021 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill, which provided $2.765 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and $60 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, all of which enable billions in loans to address additional water infrastructure challenges.

Hyde-Smith has also worked to secure additional water and wastewater infrastructure appropriations through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers using her membership on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

It is through these multiple agencies and programs that Hyde-Smith proposes funding much-needed repairs to the City of Jackson’s water infrastructure.  In March, she introduced the Emergency Water Infrastructure Improvements Act (S.755) to provide Jackson with a combination of loans, loan forgiveness, and grants to begin making these repairs.

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This article was produced by Y'all Politics staff.