PHILADELPHIA (WVDN) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $36.2 million to West Virginia from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that communities can use to upgrade essential water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure that protects public health and treasured water bodies.
Nearly half of the funding, which comes through this year’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), will be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans helping underserved communities across America invest in water infrastructure, while creating good-paying jobs.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering an unprecedented investment in America that will revitalize essential water and wastewater infrastructure across the country,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Not only will these funds expand access to clean water and safeguard the environment, but more underserved communities that have been left behind for far too long will be able to access them.”
The town of Ellenboro, in Ritchie County, received $1.5 million from the CWSRF-BIL funding. The project addresses aging infrastructure, installs a new ultraviolet disinfection system and provides a new covered sludge press which processes sludge for landfill application.
The town of Iaeger, in McDowell County, is targeted to receive $1.5 million CWSRF-BIL- funding to eliminate 118 failing septic systems.
The announcement is part of the $2.4 billion announced as part of the second wave of funding made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to invest in America. In May 2022, EPA announced the initial allotment of $1.9 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to states, tribes and territories through the CWSRF. That money is supporting hundreds of critical water infrastructure projects around the country.
“The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program is a powerful partnership between EPA and the states,” said EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator Adam Ortiz. “West Virginia communities can use this additional funding to make a difference with water infrastructure projects that protect public health, ecosystems and waterways throughout the state.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes over $50 billion available for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country between FY2022 and FY2026. EPA is committed to ensuring every community has access to this historic investment and has centralized increasing investment in disadvantaged communities within its implementation.
“Every West Virginian deserves clean water to drink and fresh air to breathe. I fought to include funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to deliver critical resources to communities like West Virginia, and I am pleased the EPA is investing more than $35 million in promoting access to clean drinking water across the state,” said West Viriginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “The funding announced today will also upgrade and improve wastewater and stormwater infrastructure throughout West Virginia, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of the investments for years to come. As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for resources to protect the health and wellbeing of communities across the Mountain State.”
This investment in water infrastructure is creating jobs while addressing key challenges, including climate change and emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 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.
“Aging water and wastewater systems pose multiple challenges to local communities throughout the United States, including those in West Virginia,” said EPW Committee Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). “When writing the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act in the EPW committee, which was a key pillar of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we wanted to ensure our states, cities and towns could make needed upgrades to their core infrastructure systems. The funding announced today will provide West Virginia the flexibility to meet these needs and help maintain affordable, efficient, and safe water and wastewater infrastructure across our great state.”
In addition to the announcement, the 2023 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund allocations and program updates are forthcoming, pending the release of the seventh Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. EPA anticipates releasing the information in the coming weeks.
The CWSRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments for more than 30 years, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America. For more information, including state-by-state allocation of 2023 funding, and a breakdown of EPA CWSRF funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, visit http://www.epa.gov/cwsrf .