By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming will receive a little more than $63 million in funding through the federal government next year to improve the state’s aging water infrastructure and addressing key challenges with drinking water.
The funding will create jobs while upgrading the water infrastructure, as well. Wyoming will receive $63,041,000 to invest in critical wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects.
In a letter sent to governors today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator encouraged states to maximize the impact of water funding from the law, a $50 billion investment, to address disproportionate environmental burdens in historically underserved communities across the country.
“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 EPA Administrator 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.”
In total, EPA will allocate $7.4 billion to states, tribes, and territories for 2022, with nearly half of this funding 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.
The 2022 allocation is the first of five years of $43 billion in dedicated EPA funding that states will receive through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
For more than 30 years, the state revolving funds have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America.
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 an opportunity to correct this disparity.
“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.”
This is just one portion of the issues being addressed in the recently passed $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Roads, bridges, airports, rail transit, water systems, the power grid, broadband internet and more are all targets of the spending bill.