The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has committed major funding to infrastructure projects in New England, designed to help protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to residents.
In February, the Agency announced plans to commit $2.7 million for State Revolving Funds, which includes more than $200 million in funding for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This includes more than $120 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and more than $80 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
An increased emphasis on safe water aligns with the EPA’s 50th anniversary celebration and it’s theme for February of safeguarding water in the United States — including surface water protection, safe drinking water, and water infrastructure investments.
Clean Water State Revolving Fund
In 2020, the EPA will provide around $1.6 billion in new federal grant funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Established in 1987 by amendments to the Clean Water Act, the CWSRF is a financial assistance program that covers a wide-variety of water infrastructure projects.
The program gives states the flexibility to fund a range of projects that address their highest priority water needs. Eligible loan recipients are able to use the funds for a variety of initiatives, including:
- Construct municipal wastewater facilities
- Control nonpoint sources of pollution
- Build decentralized wastewater treatment systems
- Create green infrastructure projects
- Protect estuaries
- Fund other water quality projects
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
This year, EPA will also provide more than $1.07 billion in new federal grant funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Created by the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, the SWSRF is a financial assistance program that helps water systems and states provide healthier drinking water to residents. Funding for the program is appropriated by Congress. The EPA then awards capitalization grants to states on a need basis, with eligible states providing a 20% match. Much like banks, the DWSRF programs provide low interest loans to eligible recipients for drinking water infrastructure projects, such as:
- Improving drinking water treatment
- Fixing leaky or old pipes (water distribution)
- Improving source of water supply
- Replacing or constructing finished water storage tanks
- Other infrastructure projects needed to protect public health