EPA announces $62.2 million for Vermont drinking water infrastructure upgrades
On April 4, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $62,283,000 for Vermont to fund essential drinking water infrastructure upgrades through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). Thanks to the $6 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is increasing the investments available to communities to rebuild the nation’s water infrastructure.
“Every community deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize America’s drinking water systems, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of removing 100% of lead pipes across our country, and protect communities from PFAS pollution.”
“In the richest country in the history of the world, people deserve to know it is safe to drink their tap water, in their homes, in their schools, and in their communities,” said U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “That’s why I fought hard to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in our last Congress and ensure Vermont got its fair share. I am pleased to see the EPA will be releasing more of the funds from this historic legislation, a big step toward strengthening Vermont’s clean water infrastructure and creating many good-paying jobs in the process. I look forward to seeing these funds implemented as quickly and as effectively as possible so that every Vermonter in every corner of our state can have access to clean, safe, and reliable drinking water.”
“I fought for improvements to Vermont’s water infrastructure in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and am proud to see these funds come to our state,” added U.S. Senator Peter Welch. “I look forward to working with the EPA and our local partners to put this major investment to good use.”
“These projects will bring vital resources to our most underserved communities and I’m grateful for the EPA’s continued efforts,” said U.S. Representative Becca Balint.
By providing significant resources, the The Biden-Harris Administration aims to address emerging contaminants like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a meaningful way.
The DWSRF allotments to states are based on the results of EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, required by the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act, which assesses the nation’s public water systems’ infrastructure needs every four years. The findings are used to allocate DWSRF grants to states that demonstrate the greatest need.
At the direction of Congress, EPA’s 7th Drinking Water Assessment, for the first time included survey questions focused on lead service lines and is projecting a national total of 9.2 million lead service lines across the country.
Of that funding, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $3 billion in lead service line identification and improvement, $800 million to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and $2.2 billion in other critical drinking water system improvements. Additionally, approximately $500 million will also be available through the DWSRF annual appropriations, established by the Safe Drinking Water Act.