EPA announces additional $1.9 billion for SRF funds
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $1.9 billion grant to State Revolving Funds (SRF) to accelerate progress on water infrastructure projects. Combined with historic investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, this funding will help states, tribes and territories upgrade water infrastructure to deliver clean water, protect vital water resources and create new thousands of jobs in communities across the country.
“Our country’s water infrastructure is in dire need of upgrades to support the communities that rely on it day in and day out. With this funding provided through annual appropriations, coupled with investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, EPA is providing $9.6 billion in SRFs to deliver the benefits of water infrastructure investments to more communities, especially those that have long been overburdened by water challenges,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox.
In 2022, the EPA will provide approximately $3.2 billion to SRFs for clean water, including $1.2 billion in new base federal funding announced in May and $2 billion through bipartisan legislation. on infrastructure. This total investment represents a near doubling of the annual investment in the Clean Water SRF to support a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including upgrading aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling and stormwater management. More than $47 million in direct grants are available to tribes, certain U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for infrastructure projects.
The EPA is also providing $6.4 billion to SRFs for drinking water, including $728 million in new base federal funding announced in May and $5.7 billion through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. . This total investment represents a six-fold increase in annual investment to help drinking water systems eliminate lead service lines, install contaminant treatment, and improve the system’s resilience to natural disasters such as floods. . More than $32 million in direct grants are available for tribes, certain U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia to use for drinking water system upgrades.
“States look forward to putting these annual revolving funds for safe and clean water in conjunction with the unprecedented funding provided to SRFs under the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the use by some states of funding from the American rescue plan for hydraulic infrastructures. These combined funds will enable states to address critical infrastructure challenges and support projects in communities across the country delivering significant public health and environmental benefits,” added Ben Grumbles, President of the States Environmental Council and Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The EPA says it encourages states, tribes, and territories to strategically deploy SRF funding through the BIL alongside SRF base funding and other water infrastructure financing tools to make rapid progress on their most pressing needs. The agency says it continues to work with states, tribes and territories to ensure disadvantaged communities fully benefit from historic investments in the water sector.
Under the Drinking Water and Drinking Water Revolving Fund Programs, the EPA provides funds to all 50 states and Puerto Rico to capitalize SRF loan programs. For core programs, the states and Puerto Rico contribute an additional 20% to match federal grants. The 51 SRF programs function as infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans to eligible beneficiaries for drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects. As the principal and interest on the loan are repaid over time, this allows the state’s SRF for drinking water or SRF for clean water to be recycled or “renewed”. As the money is returned to the state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans to other eligible recipients. These funds can also be combined with BIL financing and WIFIA loans from the EPA to create a powerful and innovative financing solution for large infrastructure projects.