By Mae Stevens

As I’ve discussed in earlier columns, this past fall brought the passage of the most significant investment in water infrastructure in over a decade. The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), now known alternately as the Bipartisan Infras­tructure Law (BIL), was signed into law on November 15, 2021, and its historic levels of investment will now be disbursed to communities around the US over the next five years.

The BIL contained roughly $55 billion in new funding specifically for drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure. These funds will predominantly flow through the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds – the primary federal financing mechanisms for water infrastructure. The SRFs are managed by each state government and provide financing in the form of low-interest loans and grants to eligible applicants for the purpose of carrying out infrastructure projects.

Specific allocations to the SRFs funded under the BIL are as follows:

  • $11.173 billion to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for general infrastructure upgrades
  • $11.173 billion to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) for general infrastructure upgrades
  • $15 billion to the DWSRF specifically for lead service line replacement
  • $4 billion to the DWSRF specifically for PFAS remediation
  • $1 billion to the CWSRF specifically for PFAS remediation

Now that this funding has been approved, the focus has shifted to how US EPA, state and local governments, and water utilities can work together to ensure this massive investment is distributed efficiently and equitably to communities throughout the US. A primary concern for US EPA is ensuring that communities who have not taken advantage of federal water infrastructure funding opportunities in the past are aware of the funds and are able to develop the capacity to apply. The key first step for communities to get their projects funded is to get on their state’s Intended Use Plan, or IUP for short. State IUPs are essentially short lists of projects that are most heavily considered for funding during a given fiscal year.

US EPA planned to release official guidance on the BIL water infrastructure funding, including specific information on how disadvantaged communities can access funds, on March 7. With FY2022 funding expected to be released sometime during Q2, it will be key for interested stakeholders to pay close attention to this guidance and to share it with potential applicants to prepare them to get on their states IUP and secure project funding.

In addition to specific guidance from US EPA on water infras­tructure funds, the White House has released an excellent resource for tracking movements on the entirety of BIL’s programs. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook (https://www. was released on January 31. The guidebook will be consistently updated with latest information on the nearly 400 programs included in the bill, so be sure to check back in with it if you are interested in following a specific pot of funding.

About the author
Mae Stevens is an Executive Vice President at Signal Group and the Chair of Signal Water. She provides strategic environmental and infrastructure policy expertise to a diverse range of corporate, municipal and non-profit clients. Prior to joining Signal Group, Stevens served as Environmental Policy Advisor to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), handling the Senator’s responsibilities on the Environment and Public Works Committee, including staffing the Senator during the crafting and passage of the FAST Act and the 2016 and 2018 Water Resources Development Act bills.


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