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H.R. 4039: Border Water Infrastructure Improvement Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 25, 2019 (Introduced).


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4039

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 25, 2019

(for himself, Mr. Vargas, Mrs. Davis of California, and Mr. Peters) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out a program to fund water infrastructure projects near the United States-Mexico border, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Border Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.

2.

U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(2)

Eligible entity

The term eligible entity means a State, local government, Indian Tribe, or water or wastewater district, with jurisdiction over any area in the United States or Mexico that is located within 100 kilometers of the United States-Mexico border.

(3)

Eligible project

(A)

In general

The term eligible project means a project for the construction of a drinking water treatment or distribution facility, or a wastewater management facility, that—

(i)

addresses an existing human health or ecological issue;

(ii)

has an effect in the United States;

(iii)

with respect to a wastewater management facility the water discharged from which will flow, directly or indirectly, into the United States, is designed to meet relevant water quality standards in the United States, including any such standards established under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act;

(iv)

is proposed by an eligible entity with legal authority to develop the project, provide the proposed drinking water or wastewater services, and obtain necessary financing;

(v)

will comply with relevant State and local environmental and other laws and regulations, including with respect to obtaining any necessary operating permits and licenses and complying with any other regulatory requirements related to land acquisition and rights-of-way; and

(vi)

has the support of appropriate Federal and State agencies, including the Comision Nacional de Agua (also known as CONAGUA or the Mexican National Water Commission) and any appropriate State water utility, if located in Mexico.

(B)

Exclusions

The term eligible project does not include a project—

(i)

for water supply;

(ii)

that threatens ecosystems located in the United States, or that are located in both the United States and Mexico, if the project causes reductions in the flow of water; or

(iii)

to provide drinking water or wastewater services to new development.

(b)

In general

The Administrator shall carry out a program to provide assistance to eligible entities for activities related to eligible projects, including feasibility studies, planning studies, environmental assessments, financial analyses, community participation efforts, and architectural, engineering, planning, design, and construction activities.

(c)

Consultation

In carrying out subsection (b), the Administrator shall consult with the North American Development Bank.

(d)

Project selection

(1)

In general

In carrying out subsection (b), the Administrator shall select projects to receive assistance under the program in accordance with paragraph (2) and any other criteria determined appropriate by the Administrator.

(2)

Prioritization

In carrying out subsection (b), the Administrator shall prioritize projects that—

(A)

are likely to have the greatest positive effects relating to the environment, public health, or responding to unmet water supply needs;

(B)

will result in benefits on both sides of the United States-Mexico border; and

(C)

address the most urgent public health and environmental needs, as determined by the heads of the Regional offices for Regions 6 and 9 of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(e)

Terms and conditions

The Administrator may set such terms and conditions on assistance provided under this section as the Administrator determines appropriate.

(f)

Cost share

(1)

Requirement for certain projects

The Federal share of the cost of an eligible project located in Mexico shall be 50 percent.

(2)

Exemption

During the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator may waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, finds that the project will reduce negative health effects on Federal law enforcement or Department of Defense personnel.

(g)

Funding

(1)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator to carry out this section $150,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2024.

(2)

Regional allocations

The amounts made available to carry out this section shall be made available in equal amounts for use by the Regional offices for Regions 6 and 9 of the Environmental Protection Agency.