The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to provide the state of Rhode Island with more than $21m grant for the development of clean water projects across the state.
The EPA is providing this grant under the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) and they will help finance community-based water infrastructure projects, including upgrades to municipal sewage plants and public drinking water systems.
EPA New England regional administrator Alexandra Dunn said: “Communities across Rhode Island will enjoy cleaner water and make important infrastructure upgrades thanks to this funding.
“These low-cost loans further EPA’s commitment to ensuring American communities have access to clean water, safe drinking water and the infrastructure necessary to support local needs.”
Funding from the federal agency has come through separate grants to the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) in the amount of $10m for its Clean Water SRF program and $11m for its Drinking Water SRF program.
With the funding being granted to the state, RIIB will work in coordination with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) to fund several short and long-term community-based projects that address high priority water quality and health based concerns.
DEM and DOH will also oversee the engineering and construction aspects of the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs, respectively, along with the individual projects funded by it. RIIB will act as the financial manager for both the funds.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental management director Janet Coit said: “The imperative for clean water is never more obvious than in the summertime, when Rhode Islanders flock to Narragansett Bay, beaches, and waterways to cool off, fish, boat, and just relax.
“Rhode Island can leverage this much-needed EPA grant money to fund a wide array of projects to improve the vitality of our state’s waters. DEM is grateful to Senator Jack Reed and our entire Congressional Delegation for fighting to maintain robust funding of these critical SRF grants.”