Bill includes infrastructure investments in Alabama’s 7th District Priorities on wastewater infrastructure, river erosion pass in Water Resources Development Act

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Special to the Signal

On Thursday,  Sept. 13, the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which makes federal investments in inland waterways, ports and related infrastructure projects. The bill includes funding to complete a study on riverbank stabilization in Selma, and would create a wastewater technology clearinghouse to support the development of wastewater infrastructure.

“Today’s  (Thursday’s) “bipartisan bill is a big step forward for Alabama’s Black Belt, where working families are facing growing infrastructure challenges,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “No family should have to live without access to clean water or a working wastewater system, and provisions in the WRDA bill which passed today (Thursday) give states and communities the resources they need to address this crisis through 21st Century innovation and technology.”

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She said Thursday’s legislation also provides funding for the Army Corps. of Engineers to complete their study of erosion along the banks of the Alabama River in Selma.

“ We cannot allow this historic city to be washed away, and investments like this move us closer to protecting the businesses, homes, and historic sites that line the river in Selma, ” Sewell said.

In March, Rep. Sewell secured $1.8 billion in funding for water and wastewater infrastructure through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rep. Sewell has also toured homes in Lowndes County to survey wastewater infrastructure and held a Health Fair with Sen. Doug Jones in May to raise public awareness about the health consequences associated with failing septic systems and wastewater contamination.

After the Army Corps of Engineers completes its study of river erosion in Selma, the WRDA bill which passed on Thursday allows the agency to proceed directly to preconstruction planning, engineering, and design of the river stabilization project.