May 10, 2019 11:15 AM, EDT

EPA Announces $2.6 Billion in Availability for Water Improvement Projects

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To help improve the quality of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure nationwide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the availability of nearly $2.6 billion to states, tribes and territories.

“EPA is delivering on President [Donald] Trump’s commitment to modernize our nation’s water infrastructure and improve public health and environmental protections,” agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said May 8. “EPA’s $2.6 billion contribution to the State Revolving Funds will enable more communities to make the investments needed to ensure Americans have safe water for drinking and recreation.”

The State Revolving Funds program is a partnership with state agencies designed to give communities low-cost financing for water-quality projects. The agency estimates more than $743 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements.

The country’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure earned low marks in a 2017 analysis by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Drinking water systems received a D grade, while a D+ was given to the overall wastewater network, according to the group’s quadrennial report card.

Drinking water and wastewater will be among the programs receiving attention by stakeholders at the seventh annual Infrastructure Week. The advocacy forum kicks off May 13 in Washington.