Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Review - HR 4540 Introduced – Water Infrastructure Enhancement

Last month, Rep Cuellar (D,TX) introduced HR 4540 the Water Infrastructure Enhancement Act of 2023. The bill would require the EPA to “establish a program to provide grants to suppliers of water to carry out eligible activities for the purpose of making infrastructure improvements to public water systems”. The bill would authorize $800 million per year through 2029 to fund that program.

Moving Forward

Neither Cuellar nor his four cosponsors are members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there is probably not sufficient influence to see the bill considered in Committee. I suspect that there would be some Republican opposition to the new funding provided in the bill, though I do suspect that there would be some level of bipartisan support for the bill. While the bill could possibly pass in Committee, I do not think that there would be sufficient Republican support for the bill to be considered under the suspension of the rules process on the floor of the House. The bill is not important enough to take up the time of the House under regular order.

NOTE: Added missing 'Moving Forward' Section 9-14-23 0948 EDT


While the approved use of ‘upgrading supervisory control and data acquisition systems’ could certainly be taken to include adding/upgrading cybersecurity provisions for SCADA systems, it would be a major stretch for it to include cybersecurity measures for other water treatment systems (including IT support systems) that could affect operation technology of water systems. I would recommend specifically adding language for cybersecurity in the definition of ‘eligible activities’ by inserting a new §1459H(a)(2)(H):

“(H) Installing or upgrading cybersecurity tools for information and operational technology, including sensors;”


For more information on the provisions of this bill, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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