February 15, 2023
PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 14, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced today $19,407,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will go to Delaware to address emerging contaminants, like Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water. A total investment of $2 billion is allocated to states and territories and will be made available to communities as grants through EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program. The funding will promote access to safe and clean water in small, rural, and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies.
“Too many American communities, especially those that are small, rural, or underserved, are suffering from exposure to PFAS and other harmful contaminants in their drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are investing in America and providing billions of dollars to strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure while safeguarding people’s health and boosting local economies. These grants build on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and will help protect our smallest and most vulnerable communities from these persistent and dangerous chemicals.”
“We cannot wait any longer to address water quality and the health impacts of PFAS in our neighborhoods,” said Adam Ortiz, EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator. “This federal funding will help Virginia communities impacted by PFAS to get access to clean, safe drinking water.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $5 billion over five years to help communities that are on the frontlines of PFAS contamination reduce PFAS in drinking water. The $2 billion announced today to states and territories can be used to prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and to conduct water quality testing.
“The presence of PFAS in our drinking water continues to present a real danger to communities in Delaware and across our country,” said Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we included robust investments to improve our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and address toxic contaminants. This funding is a critical next step in removing these forever chemicals from our environment and protecting the health of all Delawareans, including our most vulnerable.”
EPA is also releasing the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Implementation document. The implementation document provides states and communities with the information necessary to use this funding to address local water quality and public health challenges. These grants will enable communities to improve local water infrastructure and reduce emerging contaminants in drinking water by implementing necessary treatment solutions.
“Access to clean drinking water is fundamental to our health, and every community in Delaware – big or small, urban or rural – deserves the peace of mind that they’re not being exposed to harmful contaminants such as PFAS, said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). “I was proud to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and these water infrastructure investments that Senator Carper fought hard to include. This funding from the EPA will promote the health and economies of the First State’s underserved communities and complement ongoing efforts to detect and remediate PFAS contamination.”
Today’s actions represent a significant milestone within the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitments to combat PFAS pollution and safeguard drinking water, and specifically EPA’s October 2021 PFAS Strategic Roadmap. Under the Roadmap, EPA is working across the agency to protect the public from the health impacts of PFAS. EPA has taken a number of actions to deliver progress on PFAS including:
In addition to this new grant, EPA is also working to propose a PFAS National Priority Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) in the coming weeks. The draft proposed rule is currently undergoing interagency review and EPA will issue the proposed rule for public comment when it clears the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The agency anticipates finalizing the rule by the end of 2023. Together, with today’s announcement, these actions highlight EPA’s commitments outlined in the PFAS Strategic Roadmap to protect public health and the environment from the impacts of PFAS. They also illustrate the benefits of investing in water—protecting public health and the environment, addressing key challenges facing communities, and creating jobs.
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