$41M Grants Assist Stormwater, Sewer Upgrades

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2024


Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made nearly $41 million available in funding from the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal grant to help address stormwater and sewer infrastructure needs.

The funding will reportedly be available to support projects in cities and towns that need to strengthen their stormwater collection systems and improve their resilience against intense rain events.  

About the Grants

The EPA states that finding a way to safely manage stormwater has been an important factor in preventing contaminants, such as untreated sewage, from polluting waterways.

The new grant program is expected to prioritize stormwater infrastructure projects in small or financially distressed and disadvantaged communities, preventing cost share requirements from being passed on to them.

“Our nation’s waterways are vital to healthy communities. They provide sources of drinking water, support farming, power economic opportunity, and give us opportunities to swim and to fish. Keeping our waterways clean and safe is essential, and stormwater runoff is one of the biggest pollution challenges facing our water ecosystems,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott.

“Under President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, EPA is making grant funds available for stormwater solutions. Because it does not have to be paid back, this funding is especially effective in helping disadvantaged communities protect their waterways.”

Additional funding for stormwater and wastewater upgrades will reportedly be available through President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law and the EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program.

Through the bipartisan infrastructure law, the EPA plans to provide $11.7 billion in total for states to upgrade wastewater infrastructure through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Additionally, the seventh round of the EPA’s WIFIA financing will be available—with $6.5 billion through WIFIA and $1 billion through SWIFIA.

The EPA announced that it is now accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA, meant exclusively for state infrastructure financing authority borrowers.

The release states that these programs are meant to help advance the Justice40 Initiative, setting a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities.

Other Water System Funding

In February, Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA 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 the bipartisan infrastructure law.

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.

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

The investment was also expected to 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 expected to announce allocations for billions of dollars in additional resources for the bipartisan infrastructure law's Lead Service Line Replacement fund later this spring.

According to the release, communities across the country ahave been 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.

   

Tagged categories: Environmental Control; Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); EPA; Funding; Grants; Green Infrastructure; Health and safety; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; non-potable water; North America; potable water; President Biden; Program/Project Management; Safety; Sewer systems; Stormwater; water damage; Water/Wastewater

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