Editorial Letter: Implementing SRF Dollars

April 25, 2022

This editorial letter was originally featured in WWD April 2022 issue as "Implementing SRF Dollars"

About the author:

Bob Crossen is Senior Managing Editor for WWD. Crossen can be reached at [email protected]

As of writing this, Congress passed a $1.5 trillion consolidated appropriations package to fund the government through September 2022. These appropriations include and fully fund the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) during that period of time and came hot on the heels of the U.S. EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) Implementation Memo.

In this memo, the U.S. EPA Office of Water outlined how SRF funding related to the BIL would be implemented for the water and wastewater industry and further clarified its intentions in two webinars in March. I attended the first of those webinars and put together a summary of the information, which you can read on page 34 of this issue.

While the information is not exhaustive of the memo, it does answer a lot of questions I’ve been hearing from industry professionals, namely how certain terms are defined. In the case of defining a “disadvantaged community,” EPA enumerated that states will determine the definition for their respective communities. What may work for one state, they noted, may not be effective for another. Salary ranges and household income vary wildly from city to city, let alone state-to-state, so a national definition was not created by EPA.

Additionally, EPA provided guidance and direction on the definition of “emerging contaminants” as it relates to funding specific to treating and dealing with those contaminants. There is a bit of nuance to what is and is not accepted as an emerging contaminant, but one of the key aspects EPA noted was that PFAS, regardless of how it eventually is regulated, will be included in the emerging contaminants definition for the purpose of the Drinking Water SRF and Clean Water SRF funding that was specifically earmarked for emerging contaminants projects.

I encourage you to take a read of the overview in the back of this issue and to visit our site for more information. Perhaps more importantly, any questions our overview does not answer are answered in the EPA Memo, which we also encourage you to read in full. If you prefer to read these online, below are links to all these items as well as EPA’s interactive tool to break down funding by state:

•  WWD Overview: https://bit.ly/wwdsrfmemo2022

•  EPA SRF Implementation Memo: bit.ly/wwdepasrfmemo

•  EPA Funding Interactive Tool:  bit.ly/wwdepasrffunding

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