WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $79 million in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding to the state of Wisconsin for water infrastructure improvements. Senator Baldwin supported the infrastructure legislation in the Senate, which President Joe Biden signed into law last year.
Wisconsin has been awarded $79 million in capitalization grants from the infrastructure law through its State Revolving Funds (SRFs) program. EPA is directing this funding to Wisconsin’s Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs that provide communities with low-cost financing to improve their water infrastructure and ensure safe drinking water. These grants supplement $43 million in regular FY22 funding to Wisconsin’s SRFs program. An additional $64 million in FY22 capitalization grants are forthcoming.
“Every Wisconsin community needs access to clean drinking water and an environment free of toxic chemicals. Now we have an investment from the Environmental Protection Agency that will create jobs and help make that a reality,” said Senator Baldwin. “This is a major federal investment will help local communities in Wisconsin replace dangerous lead service lines and address PFAS contaminants so that we can provide safe and clean drinking water to people across our state. This federal funding will also help Wisconsin rebuild wastewater and storm water management systems, and build stronger infrastructure that is more resilient to damage from extreme weather events and flooding. We also have federal support to better protect our Great Lakes and waterways to ensure that they continue to serve as vital economic and recreational assets. I am proud to stand with the Biden Administration and deliver results for the people of Wisconsin.”
“Every Wisconsinite should have access to safe, clean drinking water. Period. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made over the last three years to invest in our water infrastructure—from declaring 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water to investing in farmer-led water quality efforts to signing some of the first bipartisan bills addressing clean water in years,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. “I look forward to continuing this important work with support from the historic level of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help us make significant progress on ensuring clean water for every kid, family, and community in our state.”
“The historic investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating critical infrastructure upgrades in communities, especially those overburdened by water challenges,” said EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore. “EPA is proud to partner with Wisconsin to maximize the benefits of these resources – including modernized infrastructure, lead service line replacement, and increased resiliency to climate impacts – in communities where they’re most needed.”
“These investments will help address the water infrastructure crisis that is threatening our drinking water, our public health, and our communities,” said Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Director Laura Rubin. “These investments will provide much-needed help to the people who have been most impacted by pollution and environmental harm – and will put the Great Lakes region on the path to providing clean, safe, and affordable drinking water for all.”
The IIJA allocates more than $50 billion to EPA toward repairing the nation’s essential water infrastructure, in turn helping communities access clean, safe, and reliable drinking water, prevent flooding, collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, and safeguard vital waterways. EPA's SRFs are part of President Biden's Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs flow to underserved communities. Furthermore, nearly half the funding available through the SRFs thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law must be grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across America.
Wisconsin has submitted and obtained EPA’s approval of their plans for use of the FY22 funding announced today. Capitalization grants will continue to be awarded, on a rolling, state-by-state basis, as more states submit applications; states will also receive awards over the course of the next four years. Once grants are awarded, state programs will begin to deliver the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.