On November 8, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they had awarded the State of New Hampshire a total of $27,147,000 in Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) grants.
The funding will help restore the state’s rivers and estuaries by financing community-based water infrastructure projects. These include renovating municipal sewage plants and public drinking water systems, so the grants will also help restore public health.
“Communities across New Hampshire 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 total amount of funding came through separate grants to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) in the amount of $16,040,000 for its Clean Water SRF program and for $11,107,000 for its Drinking Water SRF program. With the funds awarded to the state, the DES will fund a series of long- and short-term community-based projects that address high priority water quality and health based concerns.
The DES will oversee all aspects of the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs including the engineering and construction, as well as the individual projects funded by it, and the financial oversight for both programs.
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 estuaries.
“Clean water is essential for all of us. It is critical for New Hampshire communities to take advantage of this EPA funding and the low-interest loans it provides, which will help to maintain and improve our drinking water, storm water and wastewater infrastructure,” said Bob Scott, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Commissioner.
Photo of steam in New Hampshire via Adobe Stock.