Georgia officials rejoice as millions of dollars are allocated for clean water and infrastructure projects

In February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Georgia will receive over $125 million to fund improvements in drinking water and clean water infrastructure. Local elected officials believe that DeKalb County could greatly benefit from this funding.

According to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has allocated over $50 billion for water infrastructure upgrades, making it the largest investment of its kind in American history.

Regan emphasized that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to allocate a historic $50 billion investment in water infrastructure. This substantial funding aims to empower communities nationwide in their efforts to enhance the safety of drinking water for residents and rebuild essential clean water infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to safeguard public health for many years to come.

According to the EPA’s website, about 50% of the funding will be made available as grants or loans with principal forgiveness. This initiative aims to prioritize underserved communities that require investments in water infrastructure.

Sen. Jon Ossoff emphasized the importance of allocating funds towards improving water infrastructure, particularly in the removal of lead pipes that pose a threat to the safety and well-being of families.

According to the EPA’s website, numerous cities and towns across the country are grappling with aging water infrastructure. This includes the presence of old, broken, or lead pipes that carry drinking water, as well as wastewater treatment plants that require significant upgrades. Additionally, certain areas are facing challenges in maintaining sufficient stormwater infrastructure to effectively mitigate the impacts of flooding caused by climate change. Furthermore, there is a need for water treatment upgrades in various locations to address the presence of contaminants.

Rep. Hank Johnson and Rep. Nikema Williams, who both serve as representatives for DeKalb County in the U.S. House of Representatives, emphasized the crucial need for this funding on multiple fronts.

According to Johnson, access to safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental right that all Americans should have. He believes that the recent announcement is a significant milestone in tackling issues such as toxic lead pipes, enhancing wastewater and sanitation infrastructure, and eliminating PFAS contamination, also known as “forever chemicals,” from our drinking water.

According to Williams, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a significant investment in improving water infrastructure, which brings hope to marginalized areas that have been ignored for a long time. Williams emphasizes that this funding is crucial for communities that have been dealing with intentionally underfunded water infrastructure. They believe that clean water is a basic right that should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their location or financial status.

According to officials, the EPA has announced funding for Georgia as part of its $5.8 billion investment in the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF). This investment is a crucial component of EPA’s water investment programs. The funds will be used to finance state-managed, low-interest loan programs aimed at tackling significant challenges. Out of the total investment, $2.6 billion will be allocated to the Clean Water SRF to improve wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, while $3.2 billion will be dedicated to the Drinking Water SRF to enhance drinking water infrastructure across the nation.

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MBS Staff
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