Bipartisan Infrastructure Package with Pappas Provisions Passes House

July 1, 2021
Press Release
The legislation funds New Hampshire priorities Pappas fought for including landmark provisions to regulate PFAS contamination and hold polluters accountable

 

Represents a 34% increase in funding for roads and bridges in New Hampshire 

 

WASHINGTON, DC - Infrastructure legislation that Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) helped craft as a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has passed the House. The legislation contains several New Hampshire priorities Pappas fought for as a member of the Committee, including provisions to reimagine active transportation, fund commuter rail, and address PFAS contamination.

The Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act is a $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill that will secure over $1.2 billion in highway funding and over $121 million in transit funding for New Hampshire. This represents a 34% increase in funding for roads and bridges in New Hampshire and a 25% increase in transit funding.

“I’m pleased that throughout the process of crafting this legislation we’ve been able to secure big wins for New Hampshire in the form of significant investments to repair our roads and bridges, ensure resiliency in our infrastructure, and invest in clean, safe drinking water,” said Congressman Pappas. “This bill is a strong starting point and shows that Congress can come together to craft bipartisan infrastructure legislation. As we move forward I remain committed to working in a bipartisan fashion and fighting for New Hampshire’s priorities in the final legislation.”

The Invest in America Act contains several provisions that Pappas introduced and fought for, including:

Addressing PFAS contamination and helping communities monitor PFAS. The INVEST Act includes Pappas’s bipartisan legislation, the Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act, which requires the EPA to address PFAS through the Clean Water Act and authorizes $1 billion in grants to local sewer systems to monitor industrial sources of PFAS into their systems.  This is in addition to the $1 billion in grants to address discharges of emerging contaminants, including PFAS chemicals, in the underlying bill.

Addressing PFAS contamination in Drinking Water.  The INVEST Act would require the EPA to issue binding standards for PFAS in drinking water and authorize $5 billion in assistance to local drinking water systems to clean up PFAS contamination.

Connecting America’s Active Transportation Networks. The INVEST In America Act includes legislation authored by Rep. Pappas, the Connecting America’s Active Transportation Systems Act, which will provide $1 billion in federal grants to connect walking, biking, and running paths in the Granite State and throughout the country to knit communities together, support recreation, and drive economic development. 

Requiring Federal Transportation Projects to be Built with Resiliency in Mind. The surface transportation bill infuses climate resilience throughout the legislation - something Pappas has been a leader on in Congress - to ensure that transportation projects are built to adapt and withstand the impacts of a changing climate and keep Americans safe.

Increasing Investment In Rail Funding and Streamlining Process for Projects like Capitol Corridor. Pappas fought to include provisions that increase investment in passenger rail and streamline the process of receiving competitive federal grants - called New Starts - to develop rail projects like the Capitol Corridor. The INVEST In America Act alleviates financial burdens on states by increasing the federal cost-share for New Starts up to 80%, and increases the federal cost cap for these projects. The legislation also includes key portions of the Invest in American Railroads Act, which Pappas introduced with Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) which improves financing conditions and reduces borrowing risk to help states fund rail projects. 

Preserving New Hampshire’s Exit Numbers. New Hampshire is one of the few states that still uses consecutive exit numbers, rather than exit numbers based on mileage as is mandated by the federal government. This legislation allows New Hampshire to keep the exit numbers we know without facing federal penalties. This will save the State of New Hampshire, as well as local businesses and attractions that market based on exit numbers, from having to do costly and unnecessary updates to our signage. 

Addressing Drug-Impaired Driving. Rep. Pappas offered a bipartisan amendment with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) to gather data and improve our understanding of serious drug and alcohol-related accidents. The provision was included in the legislation that passed the House.

Fostering resilience through research on innovative stormwater control. Pappas co-led an amendment authorizing an EPA grant program to support regional stormwater centers of excellence to conduct research and development on innovative stormwater control technologies. The University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center is home to one of the leading stormwater centers and will play a leading role in the development of advanced stormwater control technology that will help increase resilience and enhance water quality. 

Protecting America’s waterways from stormwater and sewer overflow. This legislation authorizes $2 billion in funding and includes key language from the Stop Sewer Overflow Act, which Pappas helped introduce, that requires states to provide a greater federal share of construction costs to disadvantaged communities participating in EPA’s sewer overflow and stormwater grant program. This funding will help communities, especially those along the Merrimack River that have combined sewer systems, get the resources they need to make upgrades and protect our waterways.