Wyoming to Receive $63 Million Through ‘Build Back Better’ Infrastructure Law
On the heels of the Biden Administration's Build Back Better Infrastructure plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Wyoming will receive more than $60 million for work on wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects.
Per a news release from the EPA, administrator Michael S. Regan sent a letter to state governors announcing the funding, which comes from the EPA's State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. In the letter, Regan encouraged states to "maximize the impact of water funding from the law - an unprecedented $50 billion investment - to address disproportionate environmental burdens in historically underserved communities across the country."
It was announced that, in total, $7.4 billion has been allocated to states, Tribes, and territories for 2022. The release notes that nearly half of the funding is available as grants or principal forgiveness loans that remove barriers to investing in what the EPA calls "essential water infrastructure in underserved communities across rural America and in urban centers."
It was said that the 2022 allocation is the first of five years, totaling $43 billion that the EPA SRF will offer states via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
"For more than 30 years, the SRFs have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America," the release stated. "However, many vulnerable communities facing water challenges have not received their fair share of federal water infrastructure funding. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, states have a unique opportunity to correct this disparity."
The release noted that Administrator Regan recently when on a country-wide tour, where he heard from various families and advocates stories about their struggles with water pollution in their communities. It said that exposure to lead in water can cause irreversible and life-long health issues for children, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement.
“With President Biden’s leadership and congressional action, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has created an historic opportunity to correct longstanding environmental and economic injustices across America,” said Michael S. 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 release stated that families that live near high levels of contaminants, such as PFAS or "forever chemicals" are also at risk of developing adverse health issues.
“EPA is committed to making the most of this historic opportunity to help Wyoming communities invest in the critical infrastructure that will deliver clean water and safe drinking water for decades to come,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “In addition to creating jobs across the state, these funds will improve the health of our watersheds and expand access to safe drinking water for homes, businesses, schools, and childcare centers; including the disadvantaged communities who need it most.”
In addition to water infrastructure improvements, the Infrastructure Plan will also provide cleanup, revitalization and recycling investments, as well as investments in electric, low-emission school buses and investments in pollution prevention.
For more information, including state-by-state allocation of 2022 funding, and a breakdown of EPA funding by SRF program, and additional funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/infrastructure.