WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to boost water infrastructure projects and provide clean, safe drinking water for all Rhode Islanders, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced $21,789,000 in Congressionally-appropriated State Revolving Funds (SRFs) for water infrastructure projects in Rhode Island.  Administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal funding will flow to two federal-state loan programs that supply local water systems with low-interest financing for projects that protect public health and environmental quality.

“This federal funding will help improve water quality across the state and allow communities to upgrade their clean water infrastructure.  The federal government needs to be a reliable partner when it comes to maintaining healthy, safe water in our communities.  I am proud to have secured this vital federal funding to help modernize our water infrastructure, reduce pollution, and protect public health,” said Senator Reed.

This year, Rhode Island received $10,778,000 through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and $11,011,000 through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), for a total of $21.789 million in clean water financing for water quality protection projects and enhancements.

Administered by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB), the CWSRF provides loans at low interest rates for water quality protection projects that improve wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from storm water runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) and the RIIB are the state agencies that oversee the DWSRF, which provides loans at low interest rates for improvements to drinking water systems, focusing especially on small and low-income communities and programs that encourage pollution prevention to ensure that drinking water is safe.

While the Trump Administration tried to cut funding for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds by more than 28 percent in fiscal year 2020, Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, helped defeat those cuts.  Senator Reed successfully restored funding for SRFs, providing $1.6 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and over $1.1 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Senator Reed, along with Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), led bipartisan efforts to invest in clean water infrastructure.  Earlier this year, their bipartisan coalition of 41 Senators wrote in support of investing in upgrading the nation’s drinking water and waste water infrastructure, writing: “Maintaining a state of good repair of our nation's drinking water infrastructure is critical to protecting public health by ensuring reliable delivery of safe drinking water to millions of Americans.  Every day, communities face significant losses and damage from broken water and sewer mains, sewage overflows, and other problems due to infrastructure that is reaching the end of its useful life cycle.  SRFs help address these conditions by investing in short- and long-term improvements to water and wastewater infrastructure in states and communities across the nation.”

Since 1988, Congress has allocated $45 billion to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, providing more than $138 billion in financial assistance through 41,000 low-cost loans for wastewater and storm water infrastructure projects.  Similarly, since 1997, Congress has directed $24 billion to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, providing more than $41 billion in financial assistance to over 15,000 drinking water projects across the country.