EPA to Infuse Almost $1 Billion Into Drinking Water Programs
States, territories and tribes will share more than $940 million from three U.S. EPA grant programs to support the quality and security of the nation’s drinking water. The water supplies for more than 270 million people will benefit from the funding.
“This important congressional funding advances President Bush’s commitment to states and communities for safe, sustainable and secure water systems,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water.
More than $837 million will support Drinking Water State Revolving Funds programs, which help states, territories and tribes finance infrastructure improvements to public water systems. Federal capitalization grants fund low-interest loans to public water systems. Eligible projects include upgrades to treatment facilities, certain storage facilities and distribution systems. Since the program began in 1997, public water systems have received more than $9 billion in low-interest loans. Concurrently, the agency has proposed allotting $841,500,000 in the proposed FY 2007 budget.
Another $98 million in grants will fund the Public Water Supervision System. This system operates under the Safe Drinking Water Act and provides resources to implement and enforce drinking water regulations and programs. At the same time the agency is announcing tentative allotments of $99,099,000 in the proposed FY 2007 budget.
Finally, EPA will provide $5 million in FY 2006 counter-terrorism grants to states and territories. The grants will help provide drinking water utilities with technical assistance and training to improve the readiness of first responders at drinking water systems, including practicing emergency response and recovery plans. States are also encouraged to develop strategies to help utilities implement security enhancements.
States, territories and tribes may apply for funding through their EPA regional offices.