White House Releases Guidebook for Infrastructure Funding
The White House released a guidebook earlier this week to help state and local government officials understand the billions of dollars that will be made available for numerous programs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the bipartisan infrastructure package that was signed into law in November 2021.
The guidebook provides an overview of the programs that will receive influxes of funding from the IIJA over the next five years. Specifics for water programs can be found starting on page 230.
Given that the majority of the $55 billion in water funds will be funneled through the State Revolving Funds (SRFs) – with some new parameters – the guidebook encourages utilities to engage with their state programs to identify potential projects. NACWA also encourages utilities to engage in conversations with their state SRF programs to urge changes they wish to see regarding SRF implementation, particularly around the White House and EPA’s goal to expand the reach of the IIJA to ensure that the funds are reaching disadvantaged communities.
EPA is working to release IIJA programmatic guidance to states on how to distribute funds by the end of February. NACWA has been engaged with EPA over the past two months as guidance development got underway. These efforts continued this week through discussions between top EPA leadership and NACWA utility members during NACWA’s 2022 Winter Conference (see related story.)
NACWA’s work on IIJA implementation will continue over the coming months – and continue throughout the next several years, as the funds will be disbursed over a five-year timeline. This multi-year implementation should allow the programs to be responsive to initial challenges and adapt over time.
Throughout the process, NACWA’s goal will be to ensure the dollars are spent effectively and that implementation leverages the expertise of the clean water utilities that are integral to both the successful implementation of IIJA and the continued advancement of clean water progress.
Contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA’s Managing Director of Government Affairs, with questions or to discuss further.