Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Pennsylvania Receives $240 Million In Water Infrastructure Funding Under Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

On September 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the award of $240 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to Pennsylvania for water infrastructure improvements.

The BIL allocates more than $50 billion to EPA toward 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. 

These grants will supplement the $67 million in fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding awarded for Pennsylvania’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) and mark the first significant distribution of water infrastructure funds thanks to the BIL. State allocations were previously announced.  

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection administer this funding.

“All communities need access to clean, reliable, safe water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership and the resources from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, 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.”

“President Biden has been clear—we cannot leave any community behind as we rebuild America’s infrastructure with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.  “Because of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, nearly half of the additional SRF funding will now be grants or forgivable loans, making accessing these critical water resources easier for small, rural and disadvantaged communities.”

“Help is on the way to the state of Pennsylvania,” said Adam Ortiz, EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator.  “This funding represents ‘delivery on a promise’ that the Biden administration made to help our communities most in need of clean drinking water and programs to control contaminants and harmful stormwater runoff.  EPA Mid-Atlantic looks forward to assisting and partnering with our states to expedite this critical work.”   

“This is a tremendous investment in ensuring that Pennsylvanians have safe water to drink and clean, fishable, swimmable rivers and streams. These funds will help protect drinking water from old threats like lead pipes and new and emerging concerns like PFAS contamination,” said Acting DEP Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “It will also help with investments into new and upgraded infrastructure like drinking water mains and treatment plants, conveyance and collection systems, wastewater treatment plants, and stormwater systems to help restore and grow Pennsylvania. The investment also provides a source of funding for non-point source pollution reduction projects located inside and outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.”

EPA’s SRFs are part of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs flow to underserved communities. 

Furthermore, nearly half the funding available through the SRFs thanks to the BIL must be grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across rural America and in urban centers.

The funding announced represents the FY22 BIL awards for states that have submitted and obtained EPA’s approval of their plans for use of the funding. 

SRF 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 four years. 

As grants are awarded, the state SRF programs can begin to distribute the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.

The BIL presents the largest ever funding opportunity for investing in water infrastructure. 

Click Here to find out more about BIL programs and other programs that help communities manage their water.

For more information on intended use of this funding in Pennsylvania, please visit the PennVEST and DEP Intended Use webpage: 

[Posted: September 20, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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