Biden-Harris Administration and EPA Announce Delivery of Historic Water Infrastructure Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Vermont
BOSTON - (September 16, 2022) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded over $63 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to Vermont for water infrastructure improvements.
President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (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. The grant marks the first significant distribution of water infrastructure funds thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. State allocations were previously announced.
"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."
"The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is funding critical water infrastructure projects across New England, especially in places that have been historically underserved," said EPA Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "No one should be worried when they turn on their tap and ensuring clean drinking water and safe wastewater services to communities across the region is essential. We are proud to work with states, Tribes, and communities in making these unprecedented investments."
"Vermont as a state, requires an investment of about $2 billion dollars in water infrastructure over the next ten years, based on the best available data," said Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore. "The passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow us to make a significant down payment on what is a necessary investment in core infrastructure within our communities.
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 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 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.
In fiscal year 2022, the six New England states have received a total of $484,744,421 with nearly half of this funding available as 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 fiscal year 2022 allocation is the first of five years of $43 billion in dedicated EPA SRF funding that states will receive through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. For more than 30 years, the SRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America. However, many vulnerable communities facing water challenges have not received their fair share of federal water infrastructure funding. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, states have a unique opportunity to correct this disparity.
Funding announced today represents FY22 awards for states that have submitted and obtained EPA's approval of their plans for use of the funding. 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.
Planned projects in Vermont that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will fund include lead line replacement projects in Springfield and Northfield, as well as projects to address PFAS contamination in Killington and Bennington. A host of other projects are slated for funding in the state through this new increase in funding, which will significantly increase the ability of towns and cities to meet their infrastructure needs.
"Clean water is a human right," said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Yet here in the richest country in the history of the world, unbelievably, public health is jeopardized by crumbling infrastructure and outdated water systems. Which is why I'm very pleased to see this essential federal funding, secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which we passed last year, come to Vermont to strengthen our state's water systems and make water cleaner, more accessible, and more resilient for our local communities. At a time when climate change threatens water systems every day, as well as toxic contaminants like PFAS and lead, investments like this are more important than ever if we are going to safeguard our essential waterways."
"Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Vermont will have safe drinking water, improved flood infrastructure, and cleaner lakes and rivers," said Congressman Peter Welch. "The projects funded through this bill will benefit generations of Vermonters, building healthier and more resilient communities. I'm glad to have helped this bill over the finish line, and I'm grateful to the folks at EPA, both in New England and in D.C., for their hard work to implement this historic legislation."
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents the largest ever funding opportunity for investing in water infrastructure. Find out more about Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and other programs that help communities manage their water at www.epa.gov/infrastructure.