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Puerto Rico, USVI get $12.2M from EPA for used water infrastructure upgrades

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive $9.8 million and $2.4 million, respectively, from the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act to help communities upgrade essential wastewater and stormwater systems to protect public health and water bodies.

In total, the agency confirmed an allocation of more than $126 million that includes New York ($83.6 million) and New Jersey ($30.9 million).

“This major investment translates into replacing or repairing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, as well as addressing stormwater,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “EPA is committed to getting these critical water resources to underserved and disadvantaged communities.”

The funding builds on the second wave of $2.4 billion EPA announced for clean water infrastructure upgrades through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

More than $3.2 billion will be provided to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) when combined with fiscal year 2023 funding available through the law enacted in February.

CWSRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments for more than 30 years, providing low-cost financing for local projects across the U.S. 

Under the Clean Water programs, EPA provides funding to all 50 states and Puerto Rico to capitalize on SRF loan programs. For the base programs, the states and Puerto Rico contribute an additional 20% to match the federal grants.

The 51 SRF programs function like infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans to eligible recipients for clean water infrastructure projects. As the loan principal and interest are repaid over time, it allows the state’s CWSRF to be recycled or “revolve.”

As money is returned to the state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans to other eligible recipients.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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