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EPA Publishes “Story Map” Illustrating Progress and Continued Efforts to Protect America’s Waters

03/03/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (March 3, 2020) — Today, at an event hosted by the National Ground Water Association in Washington, D.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Dave Ross highlighted the agency’s efforts to  protect the nation’s waters as part of EPA’s 50th anniversary celebration. Throughout the month of February, EPA highlighted accomplishments and issued new announcements that demonstrate the agency’s continued commitment to drinking water and surface water protection. Today, EPA published a “story map” to illustrate progress and continued efforts to protect America’s waters.

“EPA’s new story map celebrates the significant progress we have made in protecting our nation’s waters to help support our health, our environment and our economy,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Dave Ross. “Throughout February, the agency also made significant announcements that demonstrate its ongoing efforts to protect our nation’s waters—including meeting emerging challenges.”

The agency’s new story map underscores the progress that EPA has made to protect America’s waters. For example, it highlights that 92 percent of the population is served by community water systems that meet all health-based standards, while the agency acknowledges the additional work necessary to improve compliance. The story map also shows that 250,000 acres of lakes and ponds and 10,000 miles of rivers and streams have been partially or fully restored since 2005. It notes that supporting clean water often comes in the form of water infrastructure investments and that the EPA-supported State Revolving Funds have provided $180 billion to help fund over 15,000 drinking water projects and 41,000 wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects across the nation. Additionally, the story map summarizes progress under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, commemorating that through 2019 EPA issued 14 WIFIA loans that provide $3.5 billion to help finance more than $8 billion for water infrastructure projects and create more than 15,000 jobs. 

The story map also demonstrates the importance of the agency’s continued efforts and February’s focus on taking action to continue protecting our waters while supporting a strong economy, now and for future generations. For example, EPA announced $40 million to further reduce lead in drinking water and $1.8 million for innovative, market-based nutrient reduction projects in the Great Lakes basin. The agency also announced two new WIFIA loan closings—for Toho Water Authority in Florida ($40 million) and Coachella Valley Water District in California ($59 million). Additionally, EPA took an important step in implementing the Agency’s PFAS Action Plan by proposing regulatory determinations for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water. EPA and its federal, state, tribal, local and water sector partners ended the monthlong look at water by announcing the National Water Reuse Action Plan: Collaborative Implementation (Version 1), which includes commitments that will help strengthen the sustainability, security and resilience of our nation’s water resources by promoting water reuse.

To view the “story map” and learn more about EPA’s 50th Anniversary and how the agency is protecting America’s waters, visit: www.epa.gov/50.

Follow EPA’s 50th Anniversary celebration on social media using #EPAat50.