EPA awards $1.3 billion for water infrastructure upgrades to 18 states

(UC) — Using money from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted 18 states more than $1.3 billion for water infrastructure upgrades.

The funds were distributed via State Revolving Funds (SRFs) for drinking water and clean water projects with a focus on helping underserved communities, according to an announcement from the EPA.

The money represents the first installment of nearly $44 billion that the agency will give to states, territories, and tribes over the course of five years for water infrastructure projects, Engineering News-Record reported.

It had previously disclosed the SRFs' initial $7.4 billion allocation from the Infrastructure Act.

According to a statement from Mitch Landrieu, the White House's infrastructure implementation coordinator, almost half of that SRF funding will be provided in the form of grants or forgiven loans thanks to funding from the IIJA.

The largest funding sum of $240 million among the 18 states was given to Pennsylvania. According to records, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority and the state Department of Environmental Protection intend to fund dozens of initiatives, including the separation of storm and sanitary sewers in Johnstown, the construction of a new water treatment facility in Eldred, and the rehabilitation of sewer pipes that are more than a century old in Pittsburgh.

Many projects involve upgrading current treatment plants or replacing lead service lines. With some of the $53 million the state was given, Connecticut officials intend to replace the lead pipes in New London and Waterbury and add PFAS treatments in New Fairfield and Danbury. In Hawaii, a project to develop the West Maui recycled water system may benefit from a portion of the $31 million grant.

For example, one project would extend gravity sewers to replace failing septic systems in the Saint Albans area, where officials claim they have contributed to raw sewage in the Coal River, as part of West Virginia's $83 million in proposed projects to expand sewer service. The $126 million in funding could go toward a number of projects in Virginia, including a $60 million upgrade and expansion of the Fredericksburg wastewater treatment facility.

In addition, states received grants totaling $57 million for Arizona, $121 million for Colorado, $63 million for Delaware, $39 million for Maine, $188 million for Massachusetts, $76 million for Maryland, $26 million for Montana, $72 million for New Hampshire, $66 million for Rhode Island, $63 million for Utah, $63 million for Vermont, and $67 million for Washington.

Amounts up to $63 million could be awarded to New Mexico, according to the previously disclosed allocations, but EPA officials refused to reveal them until a Sept. 29 announcement.

As states receive approval, according to the EPA, more capitalization grants will be distributed on a rolling basis.

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