EPA Finalizes Allocation Formula for Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Grants Program

March 2, 2021

EPA announced an allocation formula for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program. 

EPA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing an allocation formula for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program

EPA is required to establish a formula to allocate proportional shares of amounts appropriated to state entities to fund actions that will help manage combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, and storm water, the notice said. 

The formula considers the infrastructure needs submitted in the latest EPA Clean Watersheds Needs Survey, along with additional information considered by the EPA administrator, reported the EPA. The CWNS includes and documents identified capital investment needs for SSO correction, CSO correction and storm water management. 

The new allocation formula distributes funds to states based on a weighted scale, including: the most recent CWNS (50%), total population (16.7%), urban population (16.7%), and annual average precipitation (16.7%), according to the EPA.

The funding for this Program was originally authorized 20 years ago but money was never appropriated until the 2018 and 2019 America’s Water Infrastructure Act process, which secured $28 million and $40 million in appropriations, according to National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

The proposed precipitation factor for each state is the annual average amount of precipitation collected from the past 10 years of data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information, Climate at a Glance: Statewide Time Series, according to the EPA.

For each state, the minimum state allocation and the need allocation are combined to equal the final state allocation. EPA did not change the allocation formula from its proposed version to its final version. 

NACWA stated that the bulk of the allocation formula relies on the CWNS, which often has a significant time lag with its data, according to NACWA

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Cristina Tuser