Biden-Harris Administration Announces $30,262,000 for Clean Water Infrastructure Upgrades Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in Puerto Rico
NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $30,262,000 to Puerto Rico from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure through this year’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The funding will support Puerto Rico communities in upgrading essential water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure that protects public health and treasured water bodies. Nearly half of this funding will be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans helping underserved communities across America invest in water infrastructure, while creating good-paying jobs.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering an unprecedented investment in America that will revitalize essential water and wastewater infrastructure across the country,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Not only will these funds expand access to clean water and safeguard the environment, but more underserved communities that have been left behind for far too long will be able to access them.”
“This major investment, awarded through the groundbreaking Bipartisan Infrastructure Law translates into replacing or repairing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, addressing stormwater and addressing the risks from emerging contaminants,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “EPA is committed to getting these critical water resources to underserved and disadvantaged communities.”
“Ensuring clean water for our people and protecting our waterways is one of our top priorities. The support that Puerto Rico is receiving from the federal government through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is key to reaching our goals with respect to the Island’s water infrastructure. The Clean Water State Revolving Funds will help our communities upgrade and invest in safe water infrastructure projects that will benefit our families directly. I look forward to our continued collaborative work with the EPA on behalf of the American citizens of Puerto Rico,” said Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi.
The Secretary for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Anais Vega Rodríguez, stated, “This historic EPA grant is an important additional step to improve the quality of our waters by allowing the management of a series of polluting sources and renewing deteriorated infrastructure. Likewise, projects like these are truly essential for environmental protection and contribute to the socioeconomic development of the impacted regions. The close collaboration between EPA and the DNER to solve specific problems will continue with another series of projects during the next years.”
“As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I supported the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s passage in the Committee and later in the House, as it contained vital investments for Puerto Rico’s rebuilding and future development needs. I welcome EPA’s announcement of additional investment in the CWSRF for Puerto Rico, which will support improvements in water and wastewater infrastructure and ensure better water quality for communities across the Island,” said Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón.
Recent examples of the type of work being funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes the Puerto Rico government’s planned use of funds on the planning, design, and construction of eligible water quality improvement and protection projects in the five targeted municipalities. Specifically, the EPA approved projects are for the design and construction of sanitary sewer systems in four municipalities (Coamo, Jayuya, Naranjito and Orocovis and), eliminating many private septic systems and sewer discharge around the Island. A fifth project will eliminate a Caguas wastewater treatment facility that will turn into a wastewater pump station, thereby eliminating a major discharge point.
Today’s announcement is part of the $2.4 billion announced as part of the second wave of funding made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to invest in America. In May 2022, EPA announced the initial allotment of $1.9 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to states, Tribes and territories through the CWSRF. That money is supporting hundreds of critical water infrastructure projects around the country.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes over $50 billion available for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country between FY2022 and FY2026. EPA is committed to ensuring every community has access to this historic investment and has centralized increasing investment in disadvantaged communities within its implementation. This investment in water infrastructure is creating jobs while addressing key challenges, including climate change and emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 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 to today’s announcement, the 2023 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund allocations and program updates are forthcoming, pending the release of the seventh Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. EPA anticipates releasing the information in the coming weeks.
The CWSRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments for more than 30 years, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America. For more information, including state-by-state allocation of 2023 funding, and a breakdown of EPA CWSRF funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/cwsrf