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Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced that the Senate authorized more than $1.7 billion for California water infrastructure and environmental programs in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which included the annual Water Resources Development Act.

The legislation passed the House earlier this week. It now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

“I’m grateful that Congress authorized more than $1.7 billion in the defense bill to modernize and protect California’s water infrastructure and the surrounding environment," Senator Feinstein said.

“This funding is critical to protecting two of California’s national treasures: the San Francisco Bay and Lake Tahoe. It includes funding to improve water quality and abate pollution in Lake Tahoe and establishes a dedicated EPA program in San Francisco to restore the bay.

“Congresswoman Speier and I have pushed to make the EPA program permanent because this appropriately places the conservation and restoration of San Francisco Bay on par with other EPA programs in the Great Lakes, Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay.

“Additionally, the bill invests in the Port of Long Beach to help one of the nation’s busiest ports improve its operations and ability to move goods more efficiently.

“Water and water infrastructure are the lifeblood of California. This bill will help us protect our waterways, improve and maximize flood control and water storage, prevent stormwater pollution and advance important restoration projects.”

California environmental and water priorities

  • Environmental and water infrastructure: Authorizes nearly $1.4 billion for California environmental and water infrastructure projects, including water distribution, stormwater collection and environmental restoration.
  • San Francisco Bay coastal flooding: Accelerates funding for projects to reduce coastal flood risk in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, as well as provide adaptation to sea level rise caused by climate change.
  • San Francisco Bay restoration: Permanently establishes the San Francisco Bay Restoration Grant Program and creates a program office at the EPA’s regional headquarters in San Francisco, based on Senator Feinstein’s San Francisco Bay Restoration Act.
  • Lake Tahoe: Authorizes $50 million to assist state and local governments and nonprofits in the Lake Tahoe basin with water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection.
  • Port of Long Beach: Authorizes more than $87 million to address harbor deepening and maintenance to ensure competitiveness and address global supply chain issues for one of the largest and busiest ports in the nation.