Increased EPA Water Infrastructure Funding Will Provide More Than $66 Million in Rhode Island
Under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA will Prioritize Funding Projects in Underserved Communities
(BOSTON, DEC. 2, 2021) – With funding authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced funding levels today for states, Tribes, and territories in 2022 through EPA's State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs to upgrade water infrastructure. Under this funding, the State of Maine will receive $66,451,000.
Both nationally and locally, the increased funding investments will create jobs while upgrading America's aging water infrastructure and addressing key challenges like lead in drinking water and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. In a letter sent to Governors today, the Administrator encouraged states to maximize the impact of water funding from the law – an unprecedented $50 billion investment – to address disproportionate environmental burdens in historically underserved communities across the country.
"With President Biden's leadership and congressional action, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has created a historic opportunity to correct longstanding environmental and economic injustices across America," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "As leaders, we must seize this moment. Billions of dollars are about to start flowing to states and it is critical that EPA partners with states, Tribes, and territories to ensure the benefits of these investments are delivered in the most equitable way."
"We are very proud that across New England, in 2022 we will see an investment of over a half-billion dollars for improving and updating our water infrastructure," said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro. "The five years of funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-our-lifetime influx of much needed resources that will jumpstart local economies across the region and will ensure better protection of public and environmental health for decades to come. EPA will work closely with our state partners to ensure that projects in underserved communities are given careful consideration to receive funding."
In New England the six states will share a total of $536,323,000. Nationally, EPA will allocate $7.4 billion to states, Tribes, and territories for 2022, 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 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.
Administrator Regan recently completed a "Journey to Justice" tour across the American South where he heard from families and advocates about their struggles with exposure to water pollution in their communities. For children, exposure to lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement. At the same time, families that live near high levels of contaminants such as PFAS or "forever chemicals" are at risk to develop adverse health outcomes.
The implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law calls for strong partnership, and EPA stands ready to work with states to ensure that communities see the full benefits of this investment.
In New England, water infrastructure funding under the SRF, authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide funding in the following amounts:
For more information, including state-by-state allocation of 2022 funding, and a breakdown of EPA funding by SRF program, and additional funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, please visit https://www.epa.gov/infrastructure.