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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $4.5 million in Grants for Region 6 States to Upgrade Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure

Aug 15, 2023

Under President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, EPA program to offer grant assistance at no cost to small and financially distressed communities

DALLAS, TEXAS – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of approximately $50 million in grants through the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program. Approximately $4,526,000 of that funding will be available for the Region 6 states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas to help Region 6 communities address stormwater and sewer infrastructure needs. Thanks to program updates made by the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Agenda, the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program will also ensure small and financially distressed communities receive grant assistance at no cost.

“Heavy rainfall can flood communities, overload facilities that treat wastewater, and contaminate our waterways with sewage and pollution. Investing in America means investing in managing stormwater and sewer overflows with resilient infrastructure to prevent these serious issues,” said Assistant EPA Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With $50 million in grant funding and new requirements under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is helping address the threat of stormwater inundation in communities that need it most.”

Stormwater management is a complex environmental challenge for communities across the country. The costs to construct, operate, and maintain stormwater infrastructure can be significant, which can strain ratepayers, especially those in small and financially distressed communities. This investment follows changes made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to prioritize projects for small and/or financially distressed communities and prevents cost share requirements from being passed on to these communities. Learn more about the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program.

 

The breakdown of each state is below:

  --  Arkansas will receive $343,000

  --  Louisiana will receive $705,000

  --  New Mexico will receive $248,000

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  --  Oklahoma will receive $406,000

  --  Texas will receive $2,824,000

 

Background

Stormwater can be a significant source of water pollution and a public health concern. Stormwater can collect various pollutants including trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment and convey them to nearby waterways. When mixed with domestic and industrial wastewater in combined sewers, stormwater can also contribute to combined sewer overflows during heavy storm events.

EPA is working with local and state partners to leverage the resources of the federal government to meet the needs of these communities. In the past, states and communities shared a portion of the costs associated with projects funded through the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changed the program so that 25 percent of Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program funds go to available projects in small and/or financially distressed communities; it also limited states’ abilities to pass on the burden of cost sharing to these communities. To encourage investment in these critical projects, EPA modified the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program so that state grantees are not required to contribute cost share money for Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program projects located in small or financially distressed communities.

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