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EPA Grants NJ, NY, VI Clean Water Funds

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

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Two U.S. states and one territory were awarded federal grants Monday (May 2) to undertake water infrastructure projects, largely involving wastewater systems and drinking water systems.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced grants to New Jersey, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands to fund upgrades to water systems. The money will go to each government’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

© / Terry J Alcorn

Clean Water Revolving Fund money is commonly used to help build municipal wastewater facilities and pursue other similar projects.

The state of New York was awarded the largest grant, just over $187 million in total. Of that, $147.5 million will go the clean water fund, to address wastewater issues and water pollution. The remaining $39.9 million will go to improvements to drinking water infrastructure, with special attention given to small and low-income communities, the EPA said.

New Jersey received $70 million, including $54.6 million to address wastewater and pollution, and $15.8 million for drinking-water upgrades. The U.S Virgin Islands received $8 million total, split nearly evenly between the two state funds.

"This federal funding will help ... communities upgrade their drinking water and sewage treatment systems, both of which are imperative for healthy communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck, who oversees EPA Region Two, into which the three territories fall.

Federal Funds, Local Projects

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is a partnership between the EPA and U.S. states and territories created as part of the Clean Water Act. According to the EPA, funds are commonly used to help government, nonprofit or for-profit entities build municipal wastewater facilities, control nonpoint pollution sources, protect estuaries and pursue other similar projects.

An example of the CWSRF at work in recent years is the Inland Empire Utilities Agency of California’s sustainable wastewater project. According to the EPA, Inland Empire received $30 million in federal funding through California’s CWSRF to modify a reservoir and add 30,200 linear feet of pipeline to transport recycled water to customers.

Local governments, nonprofits and businesses can apply for loans, guarantees or insurance, or other subsidies from the CWSRF by contacting their state’s program.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund works in much the same way, supporting projects that fix old and/or leaky pipes, improve drinking water treatment and otherwise address drinking water concerns. Organizations and entities seeking DWSRF assistance may contact their state program.

The CWSRF was established in 1989; the DWSRF was put into place in 1996.


Tagged categories: Clean Water Act; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); non-potable water; North America; potable water; Program/Project Management; Wastewater Plants

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