Sunday, September 15, 2019

EPA: Nation’s wastewater infrastructure needs $271 billion in improvements

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published a survey, conducted with all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, that documents necessary wastewater infrastructure projects across the country, representing a total cost of $271 billion.

“The only way to have clean and reliable water is to have infrastructure that is up to the task,” EPA Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Joel Beauvais said. “Our nation has made tremendous progress in modernizing our treatment plants and pipes in recent decades, but this survey tells us that a great deal of work remains.”

The EPA determined the $271 billion price tag by gathering information on necessary projects, including the public health problems being addressed, the proposed solutions for them and those solutions’ estimated costs. The EPA’s survey shows the need for more than $100 billion for secondary and advanced wastewater treatment and nearly as much for conveyance system repairs or new conveyance systems.

Other areas requiring funding include sewer overflow correction, with a projected cost of $48 billion, and stormwater management programs, at $19.2 billion. The EPA also estimates $6.1 billion is needed for distributing recycled water.

The agency is working to address these projected needs through several funding and assistance efforts, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center, which launched in January 2015.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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