To commemorate World Water Day, the U.S. EPA announced the availability of $2.7 billion for State Revolving Funds (SRFs) to assist states, tribes, and territories with infrastructure projects that help provide safe drinking water and protect surface waters in communities across the U.S.
According to the EPA news release, EPA also announced a new $12 million grant program to help wastewater utilities that serve small, rural, and tribal communities.
“EPA is committed to partnering with states, tribes, and territories to invest in infrastructure projects and protect surface waters in communities across the U.S., ensuring that all Americans, especially those living in underserved communities, have access to safe and clean water and opportunities for economic growth,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in the EPA news release. “On World Water Day, we are proud to help support improved water infrastructure across America through our SRF programs and technical assistance grants.”
EPA is making available more than $1.1 billion in federal grant funding for the Drinking Water SRF. According to EPA, this can be used for loans that help drinking water systems remove lead service lines, increase cybersecurity, improve system resilience to climate driven disasters, and install treatment for emerging contaminants including PFAS.
The Drinking Water SRF offers financing flexibilities including extended payback time periods and loan principal forgiveness. More than $51 million in DWSRF grant funding is available to tribes, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia to use for drinking water system upgrades, according to EPA.
EPA is also providing approximately $1.6 billion in federal grant funding for the Clean Water SRF, which is available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects. These infrastructure projects included modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, and addressing storm water, reported the news release.
More than $64 million in Clean Water SRF grant funding is available to tribes, certain U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for infrastructure projects.
EPA is also requesting applications for $12 million in funding for projects to provide training and technical assistance for small, rural, and tribal wastewater utility systems and onsite septic systems, according to the news release. This grant program is authorized by America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 and builds on existing EPA technical assistance efforts by specifically helping wastewater utilities through technical assistance.
Eligible applicants are public and private nonprofit organizations qualified and experienced in providing on-site training and technical assistance to small publicly owned treatment works and onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment systems, stated the EPA. Applications must be received by EPA by May 17, 2021 and EPA expects to award these cooperative agreements summer 2021.
Congress also appropriated an additional $18 million in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which EPA expects to announce the availability of these additional funds in summer 2021.
More information can be found here.