WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) issued the following statement in response to Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau’s announcement of his upcoming visit to Utah to highlight the historic investments in the bipartisan infrastructure bill for water infrastructure and ecosystem restoration. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,negotiated by Romney and his colleagues, was signed into law on November 15, 2021.
“Utah—like many states in the American West—is dealing with an historic drought and rapidly dwindling water resources. These issues were at the forefront of negotiations for the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Now that the bill has passed into law, it’s critical that it is implemented as Congress intended. A key provision of the bipartisan infrastructure bill was securing $50 million for the Central Utah Project Completion Act. Of that funding, $10 million will go toward the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission—specifically for the Provo River Delta Restoration Project. Interior Deputy Secretary Beaudreau’s visit to Spanish Fork will provide him with a better understanding of Utah’s water needs and highlight our state’s efforts to manage and recover an endangered species, the June sucker. I hope he enjoys his visit to the Beehive State and I look forward to working with him as we address Utah’s land and water issues.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided a historic investment in the country’s physical infrastructure, included substantial provisions to help Utah fulfill its critical water needs, provide water to the nearly half of Navajo Nation in Utah who don’t have running water, and prepare for and respond to wildfires.
Includes key legislative priorities championed by Senator Romney:
- Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act: Establishes a commission to study and recommend fire prevention, mitigation, management, and rehabilitation policies for forests and grasslands;
- Secures additional funding for wildfire mitigation and recovery, including hazardous fuel removal, burned area recovery, prescribed fires, shared stewardship contracts and agreements, and more;
- $50 million for Central Utah Project Completion Act: Provides water for municipal use, mitigation, hydroelectric power, fish and wildlife, and conservation; $10 million of this funding will go to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission
- $500 million for the Western Area Power Administration for drought-related shortfalls;
- $300 million to fund outstanding Emergency Watershed Program needs for post-fire recovery and wildfire mitigation;
- $100 million for drought contingency plan funding;
- $1 billion for the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities (BRIC) program for pre-disaster mitigation, including wildfire and drought projects;
- $214 million to fully fund the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement: Legislation to bring running water to the 40% of Navajo Nation in Utah who lack it; and
- $1.7 billion for the construction and improvement of Indian Health Services sanitation facilities.
Delivers $219 million to Utah for water revolving funds
- The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would authorize roughly $219 million over five years for the Beehive State through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program & Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Additionally, more information on the Provo River Delta Restoration Project can be found here.