(January 29, 2020) – Members of Congress sent a bipartisan request to EPA this week requesting that no less than $500 Million be provided in Fiscal Year 2021 for EPA’s Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants. NACWA thanks the letter’s signatories for prioritizing funding for this program.
As NACWA noted in the Congressional press release, this grant funding has been welcomed by the municipal clean water sector and is long overdue. The grant program was originally authorized in the 1990s alongside the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) policy, yet the funding to help communities comply with CSO obligations was never provided until the current Fiscal Year (2020). NACWA worked with Congress to get the program reauthorized and updated through the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (2018 WRDA) process, and will continue working towards securing the necessary Appropriations.
EPA is now working to set up a mechanism to distribute appropriated grant money to combined sewer, sanitary sewer and stormwater projects. NACWA will stay engaged with EPA as they work to get the first round of funding ($28 Million) distributed to states. Looking forward, NACWA hopes this becomes a baseline level for annual funding. This week’s request for $500 Million is a significant increase from previous years, but it reflects the investment need that exists and would help address the ongoing hardship many communities face in meeting their clean water obligations.
Contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA Managing Director, Government Affairs to discuss more.