The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $67 million in grant funding through the new Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program. This funding will support public health and environmental protections by helping states and cities improve stormwater management to address sewer overflows and reduce pollution that can flow into local waterways.
“While utilities do an incredible job of managing wastewater and safely returning it to the environment, increased water from heavy rains and storms can challenge and even circumvent this great work,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Under America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, this new grant program empowers EPA’s state, local, and utility partners to improve stormwater management and benefit communities.”
This grant program will provide funding for critical overflow and stormwater infrastructure projects in communities. Stormwater can be a significant source of water pollution and a public health concern. Stormwater can collect 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 (CSO) during heavy rainstorms. Managing stormwater is a complex environmental challenge and EPA is working with its partners to meet the needs of communities.
States, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia can apply for funding. Once awarded, these funds will be provided as sub-awards to municipal entities for projects that address infrastructure needs for CSOs, sanitary sewer overflows (SSO), and stormwater management. Through this $67 million investment in water infrastructure, EPA estimates that over a thousand direct and indirect jobs will be created.
America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 amended section 221 of the Clean Water Act, which reauthorized the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants program. These amendments expanded project eligibilities to include stormwater management projects and authorized appropriations for the program. The program received a $28 million appropriation in fiscal year 2020 and a $40 million appropriation in fiscal year 2021.
EPA developed an allotment formula for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program to best address CSOs, SSOs, and stormwater needs for each state, as determined by the data from the latest Clean Watersheds Needs Survey, along with supplemental data on population, urban population, and precipitation.