EPA announces $2B available for emerging contaminants in drinking water

Feb. 14, 2023
The agency made available the first $2 billion of the $5 billion Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of $2 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants in drinking water.

The funding will be available to communities via grants through EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program. These grants will enable communities to improve local water infrastructure and reduce emerging contaminants in drinking water by implementing solutions such as installing necessary treatment solutions.

“Too many American communities, especially those that are small, rural, or underserved, are suffering from exposure to PFAS and other harmful contaminants in their drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These grants build on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and will help protect our smallest and most vulnerable communities from these persistent and dangerous chemicals.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $5 billion over five years to reduce the levels of contaminants like of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. This initial allotment of $2 billion to states and territories can be used to prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and to conduct water quality testing.

EPA announced that it is also releasing the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Implementation document. The implementation document provides states and communities with the information necessary to use this funding to address local water quality and public health challenges.

In addition to this new grant, EPA is also working to propose National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) for PFAS in the coming weeks.

The draft proposed rule is currently undergoing interagency review and EPA will issue the proposed rule for public comment when it clears the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The agency anticipates finalizing the rule by the end of 2023.

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