The EPA announced the first 18 states to receive Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding for water infrastructure improvements.
The BIL allocates more than $50 billion to the EPA for repairing the nation’s essential water infrastructure, which helps communities access clean, safe, and reliable drinking water; increase resilience; collect and treat wastewater to protect public health; clean up pollution; and safeguard vital waterways. The following states have been issued more than $1.1 billion in capitalization grants from the BIL through the State Revolving Funds (SRFs):
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
The grants mark the first significant distribution of water infrastructure funds.
“All communities need access to clean, reliable, safe water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in an EPA news release. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership and the resources from the historic [BIL], we are repairing aging water infrastructure, replacing lead service lines, cleaning up contaminants, and making our communities more resilient in the face of floods and climate impacts.”
The EPA’s SRFs are part of President Joe Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs to underserved communities. An additional funding requirement for the SRF funding is that 49% of funds provided through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) General Supplemental Funding and the DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding must be provided as grants and forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities. The BIL also requires that at least 25% of funds provided through the DWSRF Emerging Contaminants Funding be provided as grants and forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities or public water systems serving fewer than 25,000 people.
BIL SRF funding details
- Clean Water SRF Supplemental—$11.713 billion
- Drinking Water SRF Supplemental—$11.713 billion
- Disadvantaged Communities Clean Water Emerging Contaminants—$1 billion
- Drinking Water Emerging Contaminants—$4 billion
- Drinking Water Lead—$15 billion
The initial funding announcement represents fiscal year (FY) 2022 (FY22) awards for states that have submitted and obtained EPA approval of their plans for use of the funding. Capitalization grants will continue to be awarded, on a rolling, state-by-state basis, as more states receive approval throughout FY22; states will also receive awards over the course of the next 4 years. Once grants are awarded, state programs will begin to deliver the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.
Biden signed the BIL into law on November 15, 2021. It represents the single-largest investment in clean water the federal government has ever made.