Municipal Grants Program Now Available for CSO and Stormwater Reuse Program
EPA announced on March 29 that municipal grant funding is now available for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Program. Funding for this Program was originally authorized 20 years ago but money was never appropriated until the 2018 and 2019 America’s Water Infrastructure Act process that secured $28 million and $40 million in appropriations, respectively. NACWA is pleased that the funding is now available for this Program and encourages members to apply.
Funding can be used for a variety of CSO and stormwater-related projects such as planning, design, or construction projects to correct CSOs, SSOs, stormwater needs and subsurface drainage needs. Projects can also include the installation of separate sanitary sewers and storm sewers, I&I, stormwater collection systems and green infrastructure or other capital infrastructure projects aimed to mitigate overflows and stormwater concerns.
These grant monies are part of EPA’s recent effort establishing a new, revised allocation formula that will ultimately determine how EPA will distribute funds to states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. The final allocation formula distributes funds to states based on a weighted scale that considers the most recent Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (CWNS)(50%), total population (16.7%), urban population (16.7%), and annual average precipitation (16.7%).
NACWA submitted comments to EPA in September 2020 highlighting several concerns with the Agency’s proposed allocation formula. NACWA has expressed concern that the bulk of the allocation formula relies on the CWNS, which often has a significant time lag with its data. As an example, the current CWNS data dates from 2012. The CWNS has never been used for specific funding allocations and to-date has been more informational and voluntary in nature.
While NACWA understands that some parts of the country may have varying opinions about the new metrics in the formula, the Association believes that the allocation formula will—when combined with existing funding programs like the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program—help direct federal funds towards investment projects most in need of federal assistance.
If members have questions, please contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.