Advertisement

Biden-Harris Administration and EPA Announce Delivery of Historic Water Infrastructure BIL Funding to West Virginia

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 20, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $83 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding to West Virginia today for water infrastructure improvements.President Biden’s BIL allocates more than $50 billion to EPA toward repairing the nation’s essential water infrastructure, which helps communities access clean, safe and reliable drinking water, increase resilience, collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, clean up pollution and safeguard vital waterways. These grants will supplement the $25 million in fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding awarded for West Virginia’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) and mark the first significant distribution of water infrastructure funds thanks to the BIL. State allocations were previously announced.  “All communities need access to clean, reliable, safe water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership and the resources from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are repairing aging water infrastructure, replacing lead service lines, cleaning up contaminants, and making our communities more resilient in the face of floods and climate impacts.”“President Biden has been clear—we cannot leave any community behind as we rebuild America’s infrastructure with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu. “Because of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, nearly half of the additional SRF funding will now be grants or forgivable loans, making accessing these critical water resources easier for small, rural and disadvantaged communities.”“Help is on the way to the state of West Virginia,” said Adam Ortiz, EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator. “This funding represents ‘delivery on a promise’ that the Biden administration made to help our communities most in need of clean drinking water and programs to control contaminants and harmful stormwater runoff. EPA Mid-Atlantic looks forward to assisting and partnering with our states to expedite this critical work.”     “This is an historic day for West Virginia, and we want to thank the U.S. EPA for yet another opportunity to work with our federal partners and continue to improve the lives of all our citizens,” said West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Cabinet Secretary Harold Ward. “This federal funding, coupled with the hundreds of millions of dollars secured by Governor Jim Justice and his administration to upgrade municipal water and sewer systems, expand broadband, and improve roads, will help provide all West Virginians with access to clean water and reliable infrastructure and protect our state’s natural resources.”EPA’s SRFs are part of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs flow to underserved communities. Furthermore, nearly half the funding available through the SRFs thanks to the BIL must be grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across rural America and in urban centers.Funding announced today represents the FY22 BIL awards for states that have submitted and obtained EPA’s approval of their plans for use of the funding. SRF capitalization grants will continue to be awarded, on a rolling state-by-state basis, as more states receive approval throughout FY22; states will also receive awards over the course of the next four years. As grants are awarded, the state SRF programs can begin to distribute the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.“In the Environment and Public Works Committee, we crafted the foundation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that included record investments in water and wastewater projects across the country,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “For West Virginia, that meant authorizing millions of dollars through the State Revolving Funds program, enabling our communities to start or move forward with key water infrastructure projects. Because of the funding announced today from our bipartisan efforts, cities and towns can make vitally important upgrades and repairs that will ultimately improve the health and safety of residents both now and in the future.”“Every West Virginian deserves clean water to drink and fresh air to breathe. In order to ensure West Virginians have access to clean water, we must continue to upgrade and improve our water infrastructure throughout the state. I am pleased the EPA is finally delivering $83 million to West Virginia from my bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve the quality of our water sources and expand access for our rural communities,” said Senator Manchin. “I was proud to fight for this funding that addresses our water infrastructure needs, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding for the state. As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for funding to upgrade and improve our water infrastructure across the Mountain State.”The BIL presents the largest ever funding opportunity for investing in water infrastructure. Find out more about BIL programs and other programs that help communities manage their water at www.epa.gov/infrastructure.