EPA Continues To Enact Stronger Protections From Lead In Drinking Water: Funding Opportunities Are Available For Lead Service Line Replacement
DURATION 2 min read
Decades of research has consistently found that there is no safe level of lead exposure, which is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to protecting Americans from lead in drinking water. Starting in the early 1900s, most of America’s largest cities public water systems installed lead water pipes. And while Congress banned the practice in 1986, lead pipes can last 75 to 100 years so they are still prominent in many public water systems today. In 2021, the EPA announced its intent to strengthen water service line regulations through the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR), including the proactive removal of lead service lines. As a result, public water systems are required to prepare and maintain an inventory of service line materials by October 16, 2024. Preparation of the inventory, and the requisite replacement of lead service lines, will come at significant cost and effort to local agencies.
To assist with this effort, in March 2023, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) issued a Draft “Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Intended Use Plan (IUP) for Lead Service Line Replacements Funding SFY 2023.” This initiative has announced a total of $213 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for eligible projects across the State of Texas, including $108 million primarily in the form of principal forgiveness (grants).
Eligible projects or activities must be DWSRFT eligible and either “a lead service line replacement project or associated activity directly connected to the identification, planning, design and replacement of lead service lines.”
How it Works
While the IUP is still in draft form, TWDB is asking interested agencies to submit a completed Project Information Form (PIF) no later than May 23, 2023. Submittal of a PIF is a requirement to be considered for available funding. Roughly half of the funds will be available in the form of low-interest loans, while the other half can be used as loan forgiveness (grants) to water systems that meet the state’s disadvantaged community criteria.
Quiddity can assist interested parties in better understanding and walking through the process to be considered for grants or loans.