Water Infrastructure Funding in the ARRA

23 March 2009 Publication
Authors: Bruce A. Keyes

Legal News: Environmental

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contains $13.5 billion for projects in water infrastructure construction and improvements. Just over half of those funds will go toward capitalization grants for states and local governments to improve their drinking water and wastewater treatment systems, while the other half will go to water infrastructure projects conducted by such entities as the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corps) and Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau). The total ARRA funding for water-infrastructure projects is divided between five federal agencies and one commission and is subject to the general ARRA goal that at least 50 percent of the funds go to activities that can be obligated within 120 days of enactment, unless otherwise indicated.

Funding for Wastewater and Drinking Water-Infrastructure Improvements

The Clean Water Act (CWA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) both provide for federal capitalization grants to support the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF), which in turn provides low- or no-interest loans to communities for water-infrastructure projects. Congress provided an additional $4 billion in funding for municipal wastewater-treatment facilities and $2 billion for drinking-water improvements. These funds are managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The $6 billion represents four times the amount of funding these programs received in 2008, while the ARRA also eliminated the need for states to provide a 20-percent matching amount for each project. The chart below shows the expected amount each state will receive for both their CWA grants and SDWA SRF loans. Priority will be given to projects that can commence construction within a year of the ARRA enactment.

For communities with populations of 10,000 people or fewer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) provides additional funds for water- and wastewater-related infrastructure projects. Congress approved $1.38 billion in funding for the program in the ARRA, with $968 million in grants and $412 million in direct loans, which is 2.5 times more than the 2008 funding level. This funding will help alleviate the program’s $2.4 billion in backlog requests.

General Water Efficiency Infrastructure Funding in the ARRA

Both the Corps and the Bureau oversee massive water-related infrastructure projects, including dams, levees, irrigation pipelines, and water-supply infrastructure. In the ARRA, Congress provided $4.6 billion to the Corps and $1 billion to the Bureau; however, these amounts must be used on projects that can be entirely completed with the funding and would not create any future budgetary obligations. Furthermore, Corps water-related environmental infrastructure projects such as wastewater-treatment plants, are guaranteed to receive at least $200 million of these funds, while $126 million of the Bureau money must be spent on water-reclamation and reuse projects. Congress also doubled the length of time for repayment — extending it to 50 years — for water-supply customers to repay the Bureau for the cost of placing the infrastructure. As discussed previously, these funds are subject to the ARRA’s general goal that 50 percent of the funding be obligated within 120 days of enactment.

Water Infrastructure Funding in the ARRA

Agency

Program

Final Funding

EPA

Clean Water State Revolving Fund capitalization grants

$4 billion

EPA

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund capitalization grants

$2 billion

RUS/USDA

Rural water and waste disposal grants and loans

$1.38 billion

Bureau of Reclamation/Department
of the Interior (DOI)

Water and related resources

$1 billion

Corps/U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)

Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program

$4.6 billion

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)/USDA

Small Watershed Program

$340 million

International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC)/Department of State

International Boundary and Water Commission

$220 million

 

TOTAL

$13.5 billion

State Allocation of EPA Wastewater and Drinking Water Funds in the ARRA

State

Final H.R. 1 Clean Water SRF Funds
($4 Billion)

Final H.R. 1 Drinking Water SRF Funds
($2 Billion)

Alabama

$44,163,600

$19,500,000

Alaska

$23,637,900

$19,500,000

Arizona

$26,676,000

$55,380,000

Arkansas

$25,837,500

$24,570,000

California

$282,465,300

$158,925,000

Colorado

$31,590,000

$34,320,000

Connecticut

$48,383,400

$19,500,000

Delaware

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

District of Columbia

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

Florida

$133,313,700

$86,814,000

Georgia

$66,775,800

$54,795,000

Hawaii

$30,587,700

$19,500,000

Idaho

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

Illinois

$178,620,000

$79,560,000

Indiana

$95,183,400

$27,300,000

Iowa

$53,453,400

$24,375,000

Kansas

$35,649,900

$19,500,000

Kentucky

$50,267,100

$20,475,000

Louisiana

$43,414,800

$27,690,000

Maine

$30,572,100

$19,500,000

Maryland

$95,522,700

$26,910,000

Massachusetts

$134,093,700

$52,260,000

Michigan

$169,817,700

$67,470,000

Minnesota

$72,590,700

$35,100,000

Mississippi

$35,583,600

$19,500,000

Missouri

$109,484,700

$37,830,000

Montana

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

Nebraska

$20,202,000

$19,500,000

Nevada

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

New Hampshire

$39,468,000

$19,500,000

New Jersey

$161,393,700

$43,095,000

New Mexico

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

New York

$435,930,300

$86,775,000

North Carolina

$71,280,300

$65,715,000

North Dakota

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

Ohio

$222,339,000

$58,500,000

Oklahoma

$31,909,800

$31,395,000

Oregon

$44,616,000

$28,470,000

Pennsylvania

$156,444,600

$65,715,000

Rhode Island

$26,520,000

$19,500,000

South Carolina

$40,458,600

$19,500,000

South Dakota

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

Tennessee

$57,372,900

$20,280,000

Texas

$180,515,400

$160,680,000

Utah

$20,810,400

$19,500,000

Vermont

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

Virginia

$80,827,500

$20,670,000

Washington

$68,682,900

$41,730,000

West Virginia

$61,565,400

$19,500,000

Wisconsin

$106,770,300

$37,830,000

Wyoming

$19,386,900

$19,500,000

American Samoa

$3,545,100

$591,923

Guam

$2,566,200

$1,723,453

Northern Mariana Islands

$1,649,700

$1,126,262

Puerto Rico

$51,511,200

$19,500,000

Virgin Islands

$2,059,200

$3,082,346

TOTAL

$3,899,992,200

$1,949,152,982

Source: Congressional Research Service

Additional Links

Text of the ARRA:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h1enr.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations press release:
http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/PressSummary02-13-09.pdf


Legal News is part of our ongoing commitment to providing legal insight to our environmental clients and our colleagues.

Please contact your Foley Environmental attorney if you have any questions about these topics or want additional information regarding environmental matters. Authors and editors:

Bruce A. Keyes
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
414.297.5815
bkeyes@foley.com

Benjamin P. Sykes
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
414.319.7333
bsykes@foley.com

Related Services