News Releases from Region 05
EPA announces availability of more than $61 million in new funding to improve water infrastructure in Wisconsin
CHICAGO (May 9, 2019) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $61,709,000 in new funds to assist the state of Wisconsin with improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. This funding advances President Trump’s efforts to rebuild the country’s aging water infrastructure, create local jobs, and ensure all Americans have safe and clean water.
“EPA is delivering on President Trump’s commitment to modernize our nation’s water infrastructure and improve public health and environmental protections,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA’s $2.6 billion contribution to the State Revolving Funds will enable more communities to make the investments needed to ensure Americans have safe water for drinking and recreation. These funds can also be combined with EPA’s WIFIA loans to create a powerful, innovative financing solution for major infrastructure projects nationwide.”
“These investments in water infrastructure will benefit the communities that EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources serve,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “The SRF loan programs will fund important projects that will improve water systems and grow local economies while protecting human health and the environment.”
The State Revolving Funds (SRFs) require state match, loan repayments, and interest that flows back to the funds. With more than 30 years of federal capitalization grants and state contributions, approximately $80 billion has been invested into these programs. According to the agency’s estimate of national drinking water and wastewater needs, over $743 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements. Through loan repayments and investment earnings, the SRFs have leveraged these contributions to provide more than $170 billion in financial assistance to over 39,900 water quality infrastructure projects and 14,500 drinking water projects across the country.
This year, EPA is making available more than $1 billion in new federal grant funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). Wisconsin will receive $18,754,000 for its DWSRF. This funding can be used for loans that help drinking water systems install controls to treat contaminants such as PFAS and improve distribution systems by removing lead service lines. In addition, more than $50 million in DWSRF grant funding is available to tribes, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia to use for drinking water system upgrades.
EPA is also providing approximately $1.6 billion in new federal grant funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). Wisconsin will receive $42,955,000 for its CWSRF. This funding is available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, and addressing stormwater. More than $64 million in CWSRF grant funding is available to tribes, certain U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for infrastructure projects.
Under the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs, EPA provides funding to all 50 states and Puerto Rico to capitalize SRF loan programs. The states and Puerto Rico contribute an additional 20% to match the federal grants. The 51 SRF programs function like infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans to eligible recipients for drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects. As the loan principal and interest are repaid over time, it allows the state’s DWSRF or CWSRF to be recycled or “revolve.” As money is returned to the state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans to other eligible recipients.
In 2018, the SRFs committed $9.6 billion in drinking water and clean water infrastructure loans and refinancing and disbursed $8.8 billion for drinking water and clean water infrastructure.