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Page 4 of 410

EPA Announces $30 Million in Grants for Projects to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water in Disadvantaged Communities and Schools

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced projects that have been selected to receive over $30 million in grant funding under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. This grant funding will help make rapid progress on the goal of addressing lead and removing lead pipes across the country and these selected projects will assist disadvantaged communities and schools with removing sources of lead in drinking water. These projects will work to further the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, in addition to the Justice40 Initiative, which seeks to deliver 40 percent of benefits from certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities in need.

The selected projects are:

National Priority Area 1 – Reduction of Lead Exposure in the Nation’s Drinking Water Systems through Infrastructure and Treatment Improvements

  • City of Trenton – $5,530,000
  • City of Fall River – $10,000,000
  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept – $5,000,000

National Priority Area 2 – Reduction of Children’s Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities

  • Hawaii Dept of Health – $2,000,000
  • School District of Philadelphia – $4,999,658
  • Rural Community Assistance Partnership – $3,650,000

In addition to this announcement of funding availability, the Reducing Lead in Drinking Water WIIN grant program also awarded over $1M in grant awards towards tribal lead reduction projects coordinated through interagency agreements between Indian Health Services and EPA. Additionally, EPA is working with states, tribes, and territories to award additional grant funding through EPA’s two other drinking water grant programs established by WIIN—the Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program and the Small, Underserved and Disadvantaged Communities (SUDC) Grant.

Learn more about this grant and EPA’s WIIN grant programs.

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October 11, 2022

New York State Proposes New Drinking Water Regulations for Four Additional PFAS

On October 5, New York State’s health department proposed new enforceable drinking water standards for four PFAS: perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA). The proposed maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for each are 10 parts per trillion (ppt). These four MCLs are in addition to the two existing standards for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), also 10 ppt each. Additionally, New York is proposing a new combined MCL of 30 ppt for all six PFAS. The proposed regulations were published in the New York State Register and opened a public comment period for 60 days, until December 5.


October 7, 2022

EPA Sends PFAS Drinking Water Regulation to OMB for Review

Yesterday (October 6), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent the proposed rule to regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. In February of this year, after a re-evaluation in accordance with Biden-Harris administration executive orders, EPA announced that the Agency would move forward with actions on the final Regulatory Determinations for PFOA and PFOS, solidifying the Agency’s decision to regulate the two PFAS under a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation. It is unclear how long OMB will review the proposal, but EPA has stated on multiple occasions that the Agency intends to publish the proposal by the end of the year.


New Study Gives Details on States Most Impacted by Natural Disasters

A recent WalletHub story analyzed 50 states to understand which historically have been affected the most by natural disasters. The study focused on the number of climate disasters causing $1 billion or more in damages between 1980 and 2022, along with the amount of loss from climate disasters causing $1 billion or more in damage per capita. This year, natural disasters have already surpassed $1 billion worth of damage.

The following are the top five states the study found to be the most affected by natural disasters since 1980:

  1. Mississippi
    • Mississippi has had seven climate disasters causing at least $1 billion in damages. The state was hit by a Category 4 hurricane last year, known as Hurricane Ida, as well as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
  2. Louisiana
    • Louisiana has had 11 climate disasters causing at least $1 billion damages since 1980.  The state was severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which was considered the costliest tropical cyclone to hit the U.S.
  3. Texas
    • Texas has had one climate disaster that has caused more than $1 billion in damages —Hurricane Harvey. It hit the state in 2017 and cost the U.S. about $149 billion, considered the second costliest tropical cyclone.
  4. Iowa
    • Iowa has had 22 climate disasters that have caused at least $1 billion in damages. The state has endured more frequent and intense rain, flooding, droughts and extreme heat. In 2019, Iowa was hit with record-breaking flooding and in 2012 suffered an extreme drought.
  5. Alabama
    • Alabama has had one climate disaster causing more than $1 billion in damage since 1980, known as the “storm of the century” in 1993. The state endured a record-breaking snowstorm that covered every square inch of the state and caused widespread power outages.

With natural disasters influencing all states in some capacity, click here for more information and the full ranking of states.



EFCN Webinar on Regionalization and the Power of Partnership

On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm (eastern time), The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) will host a webinar entitled, “Regionalization and the Power of Partnership.” During the webinar, participants will hear about ways to address small system challenges with aging infrastructure, lack of personnel, and limited financial resources – through regionalization and approaches to collaboration. For more information, visit the EFCN website. Register for the webinar here.

October 4, 2022

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution Funding the Federal Government through December 16

On Friday (September 30), the House of Representatives voted to approve a bill to fund the federal government through December 16. The Senate had already passed the measure on Thursday (September 29). Now the bill will go to President Joe Biden for his signature averting the government shutdown, narrowly missing the midnight deadline.

September 30, 2022

EPA Finalizes Additional Waiver for Build America, Buy America Requirements

On September 26, EPA finalized an additional waiver from the requirements under the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA). The waiver is applicable to small projects with total federal funding (direct EPA funding and any other federal agency) in amounts equal to or less than the Simplified acquisition threshold, which is currently $250,000. ASDWA submitted comments when the waiver was first proposed generally supporting the waiver but recommended that EPA increase the threshold to $1 million. ASDWA argued that this increase would better achieve the Agency’s goals of reducing the burden on small and disadvantaged communities. The final waiver can be found on EPA’s ‘Approved BABA Waivers’ page.

EPA to Hold October 11 Webinar on Defining “Disadvantaged Communities”

EPA will be holding a webinar October 11th, 3-4pm ET that will cover the Agency’s recently released Disadvantaged Communities (DAC) Definitions Report. EPA and state speakers will discuss the role of state-defined DACs in the Safe Drinking Water Act and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (DWSRF), DAC definitions and guidelines, what the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) means for DWSRF investments in DACs, and opportunities to improve DWSRF program reach to communities most in need. Registration is available online.

Register for EPA’s Upcoming UCMR 5 Webinar

On October 26 and 27, EPA will hold a webinar for small and large water systems (PWSs), with the intent of heling PWSs learn about the Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5). Presentations during the webinar will provide an overview of the UCMR 5 program and information on monitoring schedules and locations, the Safe Drinking Water Accession and Review System (SDWARS), sample collection, and reporting requirements.

Click here to register. Please note that the same information will be repeated on both October 26 and 27.

Rule Background

In December of 2021, EPA published UCMR 5 to establish nationwide monitoring for 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium ink drinking water served by PWSs. The rule requires participating PWSs to sample from 2023-2025 and report final results through 2026. America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 requires all small PWSs serving between 3,300 and 10,000 people to participate in UCMR (subject to availability of appropriations and lab capacity) and specifies that a representative sample of small PWSs serving fewer than 3,300 people participate.

September 29, 2022

EPA Announces New National Office for Environmental Justice and Civil Rights

On September 24, EPA announced the creation of a brand-new national office focused on advancing environmental justice and civil rights. The new office, named the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, will consist of more than 200 EPA staff both at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the ten regional offices. According to the agency’s news release, EPA staff will “engage with communities with environmental justice concerns to understand their needs, as well as Tribal, state, and local partners; manage and disburse historic levels of grants and technical assistance; work with other EPA offices to incorporate environmental justice into the agency’s programs, policies, and processes, as allowed by law; and ensure EPA funding recipients comply with applicable civil rights laws.” The office will be led by a new Senate-confirmed Assistant Administrator who will be announced later.

This office will oversee the implementation of the $3 billion climate and environmental justice block grant program created by the Inflation Reduction Act. Additionally, the office will ensure EPA’s implementation of other funding programs within the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and regular appropriations meet or exceed the President’s Justice40 Initiative.

September 26, 2022

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