EPA Provides State of Rhode Island $18.2 Million for Water Infrastructure Projects

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $18.2 million to the
State of Rhode Island to help finance improvements to water projects that are
essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be
primarily used to upgrade sewage plants and drinking water systems, as well as
replacing aging infrastructure, throughout the state.  

 

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program, administrated by the Rhode
Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Rhode Island Infrastructure
Bank (RIIB), received $9.4 million. EPA’s funding provides low-interest loans for
water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment
systems, control pollution from stormwater runoff, and protect sensitive water
bodies and estuaries.

 

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program, administrated by the Rhode
Island Department of Health (DOH) and RIIB, received $8.8 million. EPA’s funding
provides low-interest loans to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with
a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to
programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking
water.


“This funding will pay for projects that improve water quality and protect drinking
water across Rhode Island, and will provide benefits for decades to come,” said Curt
Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Clean drinking water
and proper wastewater treatment are fundamental to protecting people’s health, but
aging water infrastructure needs to be upgraded and repaired. EPA’s funding will
help continue Rhode Island’s program to invest in drinking water and wastewater
systems and protect people’s health.”


“Clean water is essential to our families’ health, our economy, and our way of life
in Rhode Island,” said DEM Director Janet Coit.  “By continuing to make strategic
investments in our water infrastructure, we have water to drink, a cleaner Bay to
swim in, and a healthier environment to pass down to our children.  We are making
good progress in improving water quality and upgrading aging infrastructure
throughout the state, but more remains to be done.  We thank EPA for its continued
partnership and support; this additional funding will go a long way in helping Rhode
Island communities make critical improvements to their facilities and better protect
our precious natural resources.”    


“Rhode Island is a stronger state because of our robust partnership with the EPA,”
said Joseph Dewhirst, Interim Executive Director of the Rhode Island Infrastructure
Bank. “Working with Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management and
Department of Health, the Infrastructure Bank will leverage the EPA’s significant
investment to lend municipalities more than $65 million in low-cost loans for water
infrastructure projects. These key investments in our infrastructure will stimulate
economic growth, further improve Rhode Island’s drinking water quality, and protect
our environment for generations to come.”   


Since the beginning of this program, EPA has awarded approximately $443 million to
Rhode Island for the construction, expansion and upgrading of clean water
infrastructure resulting in decreased pollutant loadings to waterbodies throughout
the state.


As communities develop and climate patterns shift, water infrastructure needs are
expected to grow. Green infrastructure is a cost-effective and resilient approach to
water infrastructure needs that provides benefits to communities across the nation.