SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be giving Utah over $62 million to upgrade drinking water infrastructure, and while that seems like a large grant, Utah is receiving the minimum amount given to a state.
President Biden recently allotted an additional $6 billion to improve America’s infrastructure in a bipartisan law, and the EPA is taking the opportunity to revamp U.S. drinking water systems and reduce contaminants, according to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.
The EPA is also using the extra funds to support Biden’s goal “of removing 100% of lead pipes” in the country, Regan said.
While $62 million is a large sum of money, it turns out it is actually the lowest amount of funds given to a state, with it amounting to 1% of the total national funding, according to the report. However, this is good news for Utah and the 18 other states receiving the minimum amount.
The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act mandates that the agency assess the needs of the public water system nationwide every four years and use the information to allocate funding. The funding is then taken from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and distributed based on the state’s level of need, with every state receiving at least 1% of the funds, according to the EPA press release.
Utah is part of the 19 states receiving the minimum funding, meaning it is in better shape in terms of water infrastructure when compared with the rest of the nation. Out of the 50 states, 31 are receiving greater funding to address their needs.
The states receiving the most funding, thus needing the most support for their water infrastructure, are Texas, California, Florida, and Illinois. Texas will be receiving almost $415 million to upgrade its water systems, while the other three states will receive over $300 million.
“EPA is committed to ensuring every community has access to this historic investment and has centralized increasing investment in disadvantaged communities within its implementation,” the release said.