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EPA Releases New Water Infrastructure Funding

Industry News
EPA Releases New Water Infrastructure Funding

EPA Releases New Water Infrastructure Funding

On February. 20, 2024, Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan announced over $5.8 billion in funding for states, Tribes and territories to invest in drinking water and clean water infrastructure upgrades.

According to the EPA, the announcement was made in Pittsburgh as part of the fourth Investing in America tour and is part of the over $50 billion investment in water infrastructure upgrades from President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

About the Funding

The agency added that the funding would help support important water infrastructure that protects public health and water bodies in the country. Around half of this funding will reportedly be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans, helping funds reach underserved communities most in need of investments in water infrastructure.

“President Biden and I believe that every person in our country should have a right to clean water no matter where they live or how much money they make. That is why our Administration made clean water a national priority and delivered the largest investment in America’s water infrastructure in history,” said Vice President Harris.

“Today, I am proud to announce more than $5.8 billion from our Investing in America agenda for states, Tribes, and territories to upgrade water infrastructure in communities across our nation. With this investment, we are continuing our urgent work to remove every lead pipe in the country and ensure that every American has access to safe and reliable drinking water.”

The $5.8 billion investment will reportedly come through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), one of EPA’s main water investment programs.

The investment will reportedly help fund state-run, low-interest loan programs to address key challenges, with $2.6 billion going to the Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRF) for wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and $3.2 billion going to the Drinking Water SRF for drinking water infrastructure.

The announcement included allotments for the bipartisan infrastructure law’s General Supplemental funds and Emerging Contaminant funds for SRF programs for fiscal year 2024.

The EPA reportedly expects to announce allocations for billions of dollars in additional resources for the bipartisan infrastructure law’s Lead Service Line Replacement fund later this spring.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda continues to transform communities for the better with this latest infusion of funds for critical water infrastructure projects,” said EPA Administrator Regan.

“With $50 billion in total, the largest investment in water infrastructure in our nation’s history, EPA will enable communities across the nation to ensure safer drinking water for their residents and rebuild vital clean water infrastructure to protect public health for decades to come.”

According to the release, communities across the country are facing water infrastructure challenges. Many cities and towns have aging water infrastructure, including old, broken or lead pipes carrying drinking water and wastewater treatment plants in need of major upgrades.

Some communities have reportedly struggled to maintain adequate stormwater infrastructure to manage flood impacts from climate change and others need to upgrade their water treatment for emerging contaminants like PFAS.

“Across our Commonwealth, too many communities are struggling to fix leaking pipes and aging infrastructure that stand in the way of bringing clean water to Pennsylvania families,” said Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro.

“With this funding from the Biden Administration, we will be able to continue making critical investments in our infrastructure in order to build a better future for our communities. Together, we can ensure access to clean water and uphold Pennsylvanians’ Constitutional right to clean air, pure water, and a healthy environment.”

Previous Clean Water Funding

In March 2023, the EPA announced over $2.4 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law for the Clean Water State Revolving Funding to upgrade water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

According to the EPA, nearly half of the funding was also meant to go towards underserved communities while investing in both water infrastructure and jobs.

The CWSRF, a financial assistance program for a wide range of water infrastructure projects under the Clean Water Act, provided loans to eligible recipients to:

  • Construct municipal wastewater facilities;
  • Control nonpoint sources of pollution;
  • Build decentralized wastewater treatment systems;
  • Create green infrastructure projects;
  • Protect estuaries; and
  • Fund other water quality projects.

That round of CWSRF funding reportedly built on the initial allotment of $1.9 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law announced in May 2022. The money was reportedly supporting hundreds of critical water infrastructure projects around the country.

In addition to the announcement, the EPA reported that the 2023 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund allocations and program updates were anticipated shortly after, pending completion of the seventh Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment.

At the time, the EPA reported that it had awarded over $4.7 billion to 48 states, territories and tribes.

Originally Published on paintsquare.com

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