The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $63.7 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be primarily used to upgrade sewage plants and drinking water systems, as well as replacing aging infrastructure, throughout the state.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program, administrated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, received $47.4 million. EPA’s funding provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from stormwater runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program, also administrated by the MassDEP and MA Clean Water Trust, received $16.3 million. EPA’s funding provides low-interest loans to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.
“This funding will pay for projects that improve water quality and protect drinking water across Massachusetts, and will provide benefits for decades to come,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Clean drinking water and proper wastewater treatment are fundamental to protecting people’s health, but aging water infrastructure needs to be upgraded and repaired. EPA’s funding will help continue Massachusetts’ program to invest in drinking water and wastewater systems and protect people’s health.”
“State Revolving Fund low- and no-interest loans are the most significant source of financing for cities and towns to improve and enhance their drinking water and wastewater systems,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Massachusetts leverages these federal funds to finance up to $400 million annually in projects that protect our natural resources and the public health, while boosting the construction and engineering economy statewide.”
“The Trust has been able to leverage the EPA's grants of $1.9 billion in the bond market creating over $6 billion in subsidized loans to communities throughout Massachusetts,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “I am proud of the innovative financing that the Trust has implemented to make sure the grants reach their full potential in as many communities as possible.”
Since the beginning of this program, EPA has awarded more than $1.9 billion to Massachusetts for the construction, expansion and upgrading of clean water infrastructure resulting in decreased pollutant loadings to waterbodies throughout the state.
As communities develop and climate patterns shift, water infrastructure needs are expected to grow. Green infrastructure is a cost-effective and resilient approach to water infrastructure needs that provides benefits to communities across the nation.
Source: U.S. EPA