On October 4, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the State of Connecticut had been awarded a total of $30,770,000 in Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) grants to finance community-based water infrastructure projects, such as upgrades to municipal sewage plants and public drinking water systems.
“Communities across Connecticut will enjoy cleaner water and make important infrastructure upgrades thanks to this funding,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. “These low-cost loans further EPA’s commitment to ensuring American communities have access to clean water, safe drinking water and the infrastructure necessary to support local needs.”
“The provision of potable drinking water is recognized as one of the great public health achievements in history,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “This funding demonstrates that our federal partners and the State of Connecticut are committed to ensuring that public drinking water infrastructure is sustainable for future generations.”
The total amount of funding came through separate grants to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in the amount of $19,663,000 for its Clean Water SRF program, and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) for $11,107,000 for its Drinking Water SRF program. With the funds awarded to the state, DEEP and DPH will fund a series of long- and short-term community-based projects that address high priority water quality and health based concerns.
In partnership with the Office of the Treasurer, the DEEP and DPH administer the State Revolving Fund programs at the state level. DEEP and DPH will oversee the engineering and construction aspects of the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs, respectively, as well as the individual projects funded by it, while the treasurer’s office is the financial manager of both funds.
Under the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs, EPA provides grants to all 50 states plus Puerto Rico to capitalize state water loan programs. States contribute an additional 20 percent to match federal grants. EPA also provides direct grant funding for the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas. Since 1987, the SRFs have provided more than $160 billion in financial assistance to 38,000 water quality infrastructure projects and 14,000 drinking water projects.
Under the Drinking Water SRF, states provide various types of assistance, including financing to improving drinking water treatment, fixing leaky or old pipes, improving source of water supply, and replacing or constructing finished water storage tanks. Clean Water SRF programs provide loans to construct municipal wastewater facilities, control nonpoint sources of pollution, build decentralized wastewater treatment systems, create green infrastructure projects and protect/restore estuaries.
“Connecticut is dedicated to continuing to improve the quality of our waterways by upgrading our wastewater treatment plants and ensuring they meet the highest standards through improved management of stormwater runoff,” said Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee. “Protecting our waters requires a major financial investment, and we are thankful for the support of our federal partners in helping our state achieve its water quality goals.”
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