EPA boosts Calif. State Revolving Fund by $609M

Nov. 7, 2022
With California's annual base State Revolving Fund at $144 million, the announced capitalization grants will increase the state’s fund by 422 percent.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced more than $609 million in capitalization grants, through State Revolving Funds (SRFs), to California for water infrastructure improvements. The grants will supplement the state’s annual base SRF of $144 million.

The capitalization grants mark the first significant distribution of water infrastructure investments to California following passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The law allocates more than $50 billion toward water infrastructure.

The announcement was made at the Keyes Community Services District (Keyes CSD), a community water system that was recently awarded $10.4 million in SRF loan forgiveness funding, to improve drinking water quality and compliance at four groundwater wells serving several small, disadvantaged communities in the area.

“Just over five years ago, our community was confronting a failing drinking water system,” says Ernest Garza, general manager of the Keyes Community Service District. “But with assistance through the State Revolving Fund, we were able to consolidate multiple smaller systems, insert a treatment system for arsenic, and afford the system’s long-term operation and maintenance. And now, again with SRF assistance through a $10 million grant, we are adding a filtration system to capture 1,2,3-Trichloropropane. The cost of all these would have been prohibitive — increasing rates beyond what our community could bear. Without these grants, we would not be able to provide safe drinking water to our customers.”

“In just the last two years alone, California has invested $9 billion to make our communities more drought-resilient and our partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration will further accelerate our efforts,” says Yana Garcia, California Secretary for Environmental Protection. “Adding this historic federal funding provides nothing short of a transformational opportunity to upgrade our aging infrastructure so it can withstand the impacts of drought and climate change. We are grateful for the support of federal partners who share the same bold vision and sense of responsibility toward the future that has driven our state’s environmental policies for decades.”

EPA says that capitalization grants will continue to be awarded, on a state-by-state basis, over the course of the next four years. As grants are awarded, the state SRF programs can begin to distribute the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.