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EPA Announces $26 Million in Funding for New Mexico Water Infrastructure Improvements

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DALLAS, TEXAS (September 30, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced more than $26 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to the New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Finance Authority for water infrastructure improvements.

At an event in Santa Fe, EPA Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance presented a ceremonial check to the New Mexico Environment Department Secretary James Kenney, who accepted on behalf of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Officials from the EPA and the state of New Mexico joined a tour of a municipal water facility in Dixon, New Mexico, an example of the type of facility that would benefit from increased funding from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The grants mark the first significant distribution of water infrastructure funds following the passage of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The BIL allocates more than $50 billion toward repairing the nation’s essential water infrastructure, in turn helping communities access clean, safe, and reliable drinking water, prevent flooding, collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, and safeguard vital waterways.

“Water is an essential right for all individuals and is critical for community growth,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Through this funding, and working with state partners, the EPA continues to make significant clean water advancements for communities in New Mexico. The EPA remains committed to modernizing water infrastructure to improve public health and the environment, including assisting vulnerable communities.”

 “We worked diligently to ensure that New Mexico quickly received our share of infrastructure funding so that we can begin to put it to use as soon as possible,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The people of New Mexico will have more access to quality drinking water and healthy watersheds thanks to our successful efforts to leverage these unprecedented federal investments. I thank the members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation for their work to deliver this important funding for our state.” 

“Every home should have access to safe and clean water,” said Senator Luján. “I’m pleased to celebrate this grant from the EPA that will fund improvements to New Mexican acequias, water quality, and waterways infrastructure. This is one step towards ensuring clean and safe water is accessible to all.”

“I’m proud the historic investments we secured in the Infrastructure Law continue delivering on the promise to improve and rebuild our state’s infrastructure,” said Senator Heinrich. “In the face of severe drought and the ever-growing impacts of the climate crisis, it is critical that we have strong drinking and wastewater infrastructure moving forward. This funding helps our state achieve that goal.”

“Today’s announcement of $25 million in funding for clean and drinking water infrastructure will drive further growth in our communities and improve quality of life,” said Rep. Leger Fernández. “Our gente deserve reliable access to clean drinking water, no matter where they live or what background they come from. I will keep advocating for these critical projects in our New Mexico communities.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering for New Mexico. While we know that water is life—far too many of our communities are struggling to meet their basic water needs. Today’s announcement that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will send over $26.7 million for critical water infrastructure projects is a crucial step in addressing our state’s water security needs,” said Rep. Stansbury. “This funding will help rebuild our infrastructure, create meaningful jobs, and improve the quality of life in our communities for generations to come.”

The New Mexico Drinking Water State Revolving Fund capitalization grant is being awarded to the New Mexico Finance Authority in the amount of $17,992,00 for their drinking water program. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is a financial assistance program to help water systems and states to achieve the health protection objectives of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The focus of this program is to improve drinking water treatment, fixing aging water distribution system, improve sources of water supply and replace or repair water storage tanks.

The New Mexico Clean Water State Revolving Fund capitalization grant is being awarded to the New Mexico Environment Department in the amount of $8,738,000. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund is a financial assistance program to provide loans to eligible recipients to construct municipal wastewater facilities, control nonpoint sources of pollution, build decentralized wastewater systems, create green infrastructure projects, protect estuaries, and fund other water quality projects. Nearly half of the grant will focus on assisting disadvantaged communities across the state.

Capitalization grants will continue to be awarded, on a state-by-state basis, over the course of the next four years. As grants are awarded, the state SRF programs can begin to distribute the funds to communities across their state.

While the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents the largest low-cost and no-cost funding opportunity for investing in water infrastructure, other programs do exist to help communities manage their water resources. More information about funding is available here.

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Author: Region 06

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