The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made available more than $2.6bn in new funds to assist states, tribes and territories in improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across the country.
EPA stated that this allocation is part of the Federal Government’s effort to rebuild the country’s aging water infrastructure, create local jobs and to ensure that the citizens have access to clean and safe drinking water.
As part of the funding, the six New England states have been allotted more than $200m, under the combined Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. More than $30m has been allotted for Connecticut, more than $23m for Maine, over $79m for Massachusetts, more than $26m for New Hampshire, over $21m for Rhode Island and more than $18m has been allotted for Vermont.
More than $125m has also been allotted for the states including Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “EPA is delivering on President Trump’s commitment to modernize our nation’s water infrastructure and improve public health and environmental protections.
“EPA’s $2.6 billion contribution to the State Revolving Funds will enable more communities to make the investments needed to ensure Americans have safe water for drinking and recreation.
“These funds can also be combined with EPA’s WIFIA loans to create a powerful, innovative financing solution for major infrastructure projects nationwide.”
The federal agency stated that State Revolving Funds (SRFs) require state match, loan repayments, and interest that will flow back to the funds.
EPA estimates that more than $743bn is needed for water infrastructure improvements. Through loan repayments and investment earnings, the SRFs have leveraged the contributions to offer over $170bn in assistance to more than 39,900 water quality infrastructure projects and 14,500 drinking water projects across the US.
In 2019, the agency will provide more than $1bn in new federal grant funding under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The funding can be given as loans to help in setting up drinking water systems for treating contaminants such as PFAS and improve distribution systems by removing lead service lines.
Furthermore, $1.6bn have also been allotted by the agency under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The funding will be available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, such as modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, and addressing stormwater.