February 20, 2024

RI Delegation Delivers $47.5 Million for Clean Water Project Funding

Federal funding will help modernize Ocean State water infrastructure, reducing pollution and protecting public health

PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo announced $47,491,000 in new federal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure funding to help pay for clean water projects across the Ocean State. 

The federal funds are flowing to Rhode Island thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which President Biden signed into law, and included $43 billion in water infrastructure investments nationwide.

The federal funding, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes allocations of $16.87 million through the Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), with $1.44 million set aside to address emerging contaminants (ECs); and $30.6 million through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, with $7.64 million earmarked for projects addressing ECs.  The EC funding may be used to address emerging contaminants such as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

SRFs make both short-term and long-term investments in communities across the country and provide financial savings for clean water and drinking water projects that protect public health, preserve the environment, and help conserve local watersheds.  Rhode Island can harness the federal SRF money to improve water infrastructure that expands access to clean and reliable drinking water and collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, prevent pollution, and safeguard vital waterways.

“We tend to take clean water for granted, but we can’t afford to take our water infrastructure for granted.  We must strategically invest in upkeep and new projects to ensure Rhode Islanders have access to clean, safe, reliable drinking water and modern, effective wastewater collection and treatment facilities.  This is a smart investment in public health and the health of our economy.  Whether it’s from a tap, shower, or toilet, our water system is essential and we must ensure it works properly and reliably for all Rhode Islanders, both now and in the future,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.

“Safe drinking and wastewater systems are essential to good health and the wellbeing of our environment,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “Rhode Island is able to make these kinds of generational investments in water infrastructure because of our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“Everyone deserves access to clean water,” said Congressman Seth Magaziner. “This federal funding will modernize our state’s water infrastructure, protecting the health of children and families while reducing pollution entering our rivers, ending up on our beaches, and flowing into Narragansett Bay.”

“Every Rhode Islander deserves access to safe, clean water,” said Congressman Gabe Amo. “I’m grateful for the Biden Administration’s work to implement the historic bipartisan infrastructure law that invests these vital federal resources in our drinking and wastewater systems. Repairing and investing in our state’s water systems will protect our public health and support our economy. Our neighbors should applaud this tremendous news for the Ocean State.”

At the state level, the federal funds will be administered by several agencies:

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) may use CWSRF money to provide loans at low interest rates for water quality protection projects that improve wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from storm water runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) and the RIIB are the state agencies that oversee the DWSRF, which provides loans at low interest rates for improvements to drinking water systems, focusing especially on small and low-income communities and programs that encourage pollution prevention to ensure that drinking water is safe.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921