Oklahoma and EPA to invest over $1 million to improve drinking water infrastructure
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality $600,000 to improve drinking water and provide assistance to undeserved, small and disadvantaged communities in the state. The state will use the funds to carry out projects and activities needed for public water systems to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
"Ensuring all Americans have access to clean water is a top priority for this administration," said EPA Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. "Through these grants, we are taking significant actions to modernize aging water infrastructure and reduce potential exposure to contaminants in drinking water in often underserved communities."
"The funds from this grant will provide an excellent opportunity for DEQ to further its work with the Governor's Strategic Alliance to assist rural communities in Oklahoma," said DEQ's Water Quality Division Director Shellie Chard. "With the additional $490,909 from the Oklahoma Legislature, we will contribute almost $1M to small community water systems for much-needed assistance."
EPA awarded this project under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). Under the new Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities states, tribes and territories are eligible to receive funding from EPA. EPA planned to award $42.8 million in grants to support underserved communities to bring public drinking water systems into compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Funding can also be used for conducting household water quality testing, including testing for unregulated contaminants. Okla. will provide an additional $490,909 to match the federal amount.
In 2018, the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds 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. Over the past year, EPA's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program has issued eight loans totaling over $2 billion in WIFIA credit assistance to help finance over $4 billion for water infrastructure projects.
For more information, visit: https://www.epa.gov/safewater/grants
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