MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), today announced the start of new federal funding to support municipal investments in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, including an additional $79 million awarded by the EPA for the existing State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) program and $64 million approved by the EPA for lead service line replacement and addressing emerging contaminants like PFAS. 

“Every Wisconsinite should have access to safe, clean drinking water. Period. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made over the last three years to invest in our water infrastructure—from declaring 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water to investing in farmer-led water quality efforts to signing some of the first bipartisan bills addressing clean water in years,” said Gov. Evers. “I look forward to continuing this important work with support from the historic level of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help us make significant progress on ensuring clean water for every kid, family, and community in our state.”

The DNR is accepting online notices of Intent to Apply from municipalities for this financial assistance now through Oct. 31, 2022. The notice of Intent to Apply is a required first step before a municipality can submit a formal application for funding. Learn more about the process on the Intent to Apply webpage on the DNR website

“Our top priorities include increasing our investment in disadvantaged communities, accelerating progress on lead service line replacements, addressing PFAS, and supporting infrastructure improvements for our communities to plan for climate resiliency,” said DNR Secretary Preston Cole.

This funding is made possible by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021, bringing significant additional funding to the state of Wisconsin to enhance the state’s ability to fund needed drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The BIL will provide an additional nearly $800 million over five years to Wisconsin’s SRF program, which consists of the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water loan programs, allowing the state to continue to deliver on the policy directions outlined in Gov. Evers’ 2019 Year of Clean Drinking Water report.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will add significant supplemental funding for the next five years to our existing Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water loan programs, continue our successful Lead Service Line Replacement program, and will help us continue to address emerging contaminants such as PFAS,” said Jim Ritchie, Director of the DNR Community Financial Assistance Program.

Wisconsin has a proud history of partnering with the EPA to implement the SRF program, which has provided over $6.2 billion in financial assistance to Wisconsin municipalities since 1991. The state has been a national leader in using SRF program funds to remove lead service lines. In 2017, Wisconsin piloted a program to award $26 million in federal funds to 42 municipalities to replace lead service lines on private property.

Additionally, in 2019, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that allowed all states to shift monies from their federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund to provide funding for municipalities to replace lead service lines on private property. Wisconsin was one of eight states to take action to authorize the maximum amount allowed by law, making $63.8 million available to communities as principal forgiveness loans for calendar years 2021 and 2022.

More information regarding the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water loan programs is available on the DNR website here.

An online version of this release is available here.

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