EPA Awards $252.8 Million for Infrastructure to Protect Surface Waters and Drinking Water in California
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $2.7 billion nationwide in support to water infrastructure via State Revolving Funds (SRFs), including $252,873,000 for California. SRF funding assists states, tribes and territories with infrastructure projects that protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to communities across the United States.
In addition to the SRF award, $42,000,000 was awarded to California this year under the Additional Supplemental Appropriation for Disaster Relief Act (ASADRA). The one-time ASADRA funds will provide funding for wastewater treatment works and drinking water facilities impacted by wildfires in 2018.
“EPA is delivering on its commitment to modernize water infrastructure and improve public health and environmental protections in the Pacific Southwest,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “EPA’s $346.8 million contribution to the State Revolving Funds in the region will enable more communities to make the investments needed to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation.”
The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will receive and administer the SRF appropriations. The State Water Board assists wastewater and water systems to maintain or bring them into compliance with federal and state clean water and drinking water requirements. With the addition of the ASADRA funds this year, the State Water Board expects to assist several applicants affected by the 2018 wildfires, such as the Paradise Irrigation District and Montecito Water District.
In 2020, EPA awarded $1.6 billion nationwide in new federal grant funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and $53.2 million in ASADRA CWSRF funds. Out of these funds, California received $113,653,000 and $183,000 respectively. 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.
EPA also awarded $1.1 billion across the country in new federal grant funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and $295,250,000 in ASADRA DWSRF funds. Out of these funds, California received $97,134,000 and $41,903,000, respectively. This funding can be used for loans that help drinking water systems install treatment for contaminants, improve distribution systems by removing lead service lines and strengthen system resiliency to natural disasters such as floods and wildfires.
Under the CWSRF and DWSRF 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 percent to match the federal funding.
The 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 and 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. These funds can also be combined with EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans to create a powerful, innovative financing solution for major infrastructure projects.