The EPA Gave Massachusetts $63.7 Million to Clean Up Our Water
On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Massachusetts $63.7 million to improve our water system. The funds will be allocated to projects that promote public and environmental health through clean water.
The public water supplies in Massachusetts have historically been among the best in the country, both in safety and availability. Still, the EPA says there’s room for improvement. Our infrastructure is growing outdated and needs repair, according to Curt Spalding, the regional administrator of the EPA’s New England office.
“This funding will pay for projects that improve water quality and protect drinking water across Massachusetts, and will provide benefits for decades to come,” Spalding said in a statement. “Clean drinking water and proper wastewater treatment are fundamental to protecting people’s health.”
The grant is split between two local governmental organizations: The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), receiving $47.4 million, and The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), receiving $16.3 million. Each program is overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and Massachusetts Clean Water Trust. Specifically, the money will go toward improving wastewater treatment, cleaning our drinking water, and preventing runoff.
The money comes in the form of low-interest loans, which MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg called “the most significant source of financing for cities and towns to improve and enhance their drinking water and wastewater systems,” since they can be leveraged in the bond market to create large subsidized loans locally.
Although the EPA has now awarded nearly $2 billion in similar loans to Massachusetts, the organization predicts that costs will keep growing due to climate change. As such, the grant emphasizes the importance of green infrastructure in the years to come.