NewsCovering California

Actions

EPA: California to receive over $600 million in water infrastructure funding

Water faucet
Posted at 1:11 PM, Dec 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 16:11:02-05

(KERO) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that California will receive more than $600 million in water infrastructure funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The EPA says the money provided through its State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs will help create jobs while upgrading infrastructure to address lead and and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in drinking water.

The amount of money Kern County may receive wasn't available since the state will determine how the money is distributed to counties and communities through an application process.

A letter was also sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom to encourage funding to be used to address disproportionate environmental burdens in historically underserved communities, said the EPA.


EPA letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Scribd


“With President Biden’s leadership and congressional action, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has created a historic opportunity to correct longstanding environmental and economic injustices across America,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “As leaders, we must seize this moment. Billions of dollars are about to start flowing to states and it is critical that EPA partners with states, Tribes, and territories to ensure the benefits of these investments are delivered in the most equitable way.”

The EPA says it will distribute $7.4 billion to states, tribes. As of February 2021, the State received applications requesting over $10 billion in funding from its Clean Water and Drinking Water SRFs.

“Water infrastructure needs are a top concern across the Pacific Southwest,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan. “We look forward to partnering with California in its work to ensure that important infrastructure investments are made to meet the water quality and public health goals, particularly in disadvantaged communities throughout the state.”

Nearly half of the total funding is available as grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across rural America and in urban centers, according to the EPA.