Made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, new funding will help ensure communities have access to clean and safe drinking water
April 4, 2023
NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $62,283,000 to Puerto Rico essential drinking water infrastructure upgrades across the nation through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). Thanks to a $6 billion boost from Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is increasing the investments available to rebuild the nation’s water infrastructure.
“Every community deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic infrastructure investments in America, we have an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize America’s drinking water systems, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of removing 100% of lead pipes across our country, and protect communities from PFAS pollution.”
“EPA is putting the funding where the priorities are by working with our state partners to deliver clean water to communities, protect public health, and advance environmental justice across Puerto Rico and the nation.” said U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “This funding is part of the once-in-a lifetime investments we are making to transform infrastructure under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“As a government we will continue to rebuild our drinking water infrastructure to make it a stronger and more resilient one. The support that Puerto Rico is receiving from the federal government through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Drinking Water Stater Resolving Fund is fundamental to our most disadvantaged communities and will result in a better quality of life for all. On behalf of all the American Citizens living in Puerto Rico we thank the Biden-Harris administration and will continue working with the EPA and the federal government for the well-being of all the residents in the Island”, said the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro R. Pierluisi.
“I welcome this new allocation of $62.2 million in federal resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve water infrastructure in Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we saw the need to strengthen such infrastructure to prevent water service interruptions and ensure our communities have access to drinking water at all times,” said Congresswoman Jenniffer González Colón.
Recent examples of the type of work being funded includes the Puerto Rico government’s planned use of funds on the planning, design, construction, and replacement of eligible drinking water systems focusing on disadvantage communities throughout the islands. In addition, studies will be performed to understand the presence of Lead for the possible line replacement through the Island. In the meantime, BIL funds will also be used to address the possible impact of emergent contaminants in 5 Drinking Water systems owned by Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority.
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to strengthening the nation’s water infrastructure, while providing significant resources to address key challenges, including climate change, emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), lead pipes, and cybersecurity.
The DWSRF allotments to states are based on the results of EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment (DWINSA). The survey, which is required by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act, assesses the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure needs every four years and the findings are used to allocate DWSRF grants to states. The drinking water utilities need $625 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure the nation’s public health, security, and economic well-being.
At the direction of Congress, EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Assessment, for the first time included survey questions focused on lead service lines and is projecting a national total of 9.2 million lead service lines across the country. This best available national and state-level projections of service line counts will help advance a unique opportunity to employ a separate lead service line allotment formula for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law DWSRF Lead Service Line Replacement Funding that is based on need. Almost $3 billion of the funding announced today will be provided specifically for lead service line identification and replacement, taking a key step toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving 100% lead free water systems.
Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing over $50 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country between FY 2022 and FY 2026. In its second year of implementation, $6 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be available to states, Tribes, and territories through the DWSRF. Of that funding, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $3 billion in lead service line identification and improvement, $800 million to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and $2.2 billion in other critical drinking water system improvements. Additionally, approximately $500 million will also be available through the DWSRF annual appropriations, established by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
EPA is committed to ensuring every community has access to this historic investment and has centralized increasing investment in disadvantaged communities within its implementation. The implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law calls for strong collaboration, and EPA continues to work in partnership with states, Tribes, and territories to ensure that communities see the full benefits of this investment. In addition, EPA is strengthening its water technical assistance programs to support communities in assessing their water needs and apply for their fair share of this historic investment.
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
More information, including state-by-state allocation of 2023 funding and information on the DWINSA.
More information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments mandated that EPA conduct an assessment of the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure needs every four years and use the findings to allocate DWSRF capitalization grants to states.
The DWSRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investment for more than 25 years, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America. Since its inception, states have provided almost $53 billion through DWSRF programs to water systems for approximately 18,000 projects. Each state receives an allocation percentage that is based directly on its proportional share of the total need for all 50 States and Puerto Rico. The percentage made available to any individual state ranges from 1% to almost 11%, with each state guaranteed a minimum of 1% of the total amount available to states. Due to any individual state’s share of the total state need, some states will see increases or decreases in the percentage of funding they receive.
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