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EPA announces $6.5 billion to tackle critical drinking water challenges

  • EPA announces $6.5 billion to tackle critical drinking water challenges
  • Made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, new funding will help ensure communities have access to clean and safe drinking water.

About the entity

United States Environmental Protection Agency. The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $6.5 billion for states, Tribes, and territories for essential drinking water infrastructure upgrades across the nation through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).  Thanks to a $6 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is increasing the investments available to rebuild the nation’s water infrastructure.

“Every community deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic infrastructure investments in America, we have an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize America’s drinking water systems, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of removing 100% of lead pipes across our country, and protect communities from PFAS pollution.”

Administrator Regan announced the $6.5 billion investment on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America tour in Rockford, Illinois with Senator Dick Durbin (IL), Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL), and Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17), highlighting the President’s historic funding for water infrastructure upgrades. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to strengthening the nation’s water infrastructure, while providing significant resources to address key challenges, including climate change, emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and cybersecurity.

“Environmental injustice has allowed drinking water infrastructure failures to proliferate in communities like Rockford,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (IL). “Thankfully, with the help of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, almost $330 million is being brought home to Illinois to confront a monumental task: to ensure our communities know and trust their water is safe to drink. Rockford will finally be able to implement their plans to improve the lives of their residents and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to deliver more federal funding to communities like them.”

 Thanks to a $6 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is increasing the investments available to rebuild the nation’s water infrastructure

“I’m proud to be in Rockford to help EPA announce this historic SRF funding, which was made possible by my Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, that will help upgrade, improve and repair water infrastructure in Illinois and around the country,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL). “Because of my DWWIA bill, I’m also pleased that a portion of this funding will be available as grants and loan forgiveness to ensure these investments reach the most underserved communities and give all of our water systems this opportunity. Every American—no matter their race, income or zip code—deserves to have confidence that the systems carrying and processing the water they use every day are safe, clean and reliable.”

"Everyone in Central and Northwestern Illinois should have access to safe, clean drinking water," said U.S. Representative Eric Sorensen (IL-17). “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is working to make that happen by replacing lead pipes in places like Rockford, Illinois. These investments will help our families live healthier lives and create good-paying, sustainable jobs at the same time."

These DWSRF allotments to states are based on the results of EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment (DWINSA). The survey, which is required by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act, assesses the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure needs every four years and the findings are used to allocate DWSRF grants to states. The drinking water utilities need $625 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure the nation’s public health, security, and economic well-being.

At the direction of Congress, EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Assessment, for the first time included a survey on lead service lines and is projecting a national total of 9.2 million lead service lines across the country. This best available national and state-level projections of service line counts will help advance a unique opportunity to employ a separate lead service line allotment formula for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding that is based on need. Almost $3 billion of the funding announced today will be provided specifically for lead service line identification and replacement, taking a key step toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving 100% lead free water systems.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing over $50 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country between FY 2022 and FY 2026. In its second year of implementation, $6 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be available to states, Tribes, and territories through the DWSRF. Of that funding, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $3 billion in lead service line identification and improvement, $800 million to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and $2.2 billion in other critical drinking water system improvements. Additionally, approximately $500 million will also be available through the DWSRF annual appropriations, established by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

EPA is committed to ensuring every community has access to this historic investment and has centralized increasing investment in disadvantaged communities within its implementation. The implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law calls for strong collaboration, and EPA continues to work in partnership with states, Tribes, and territories to ensure that communities see the full benefits of this investment. In addition, EPA is strengthening its water technical assistance programs to support communities in assessing their water needs and apply for their fair share of this historic investment.

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.

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