American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Signed by President Obama

Take Action to Seek Stimulus Funding for Water Efficiency Projects

2009-03-02

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on February 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  The Act allocates $6 billion for local clean and drinking water infrastructure improvements:  $4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program; and $2 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program.
 
The Act states that "not less than 20 percent of the appropriated funds shall be provided for projects that address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or other environmentally innovative activities."  The Act separately indicates that no less than 50 percent of the capitalization grants received by states be used "in the form of forgiveness of principal, negative interest loans or grants or any combination of these."    
 
There is very little time to commit this money, as the Act stipulates that the funded projects must proceed within 12 months of enactment.  Guidance released by the Environmental Protection Agency on March 2, 2009 indicates that States are required to make a concerted effort to solicit green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency projects, and innovative environmental projects for 180 days following the signing of the bill into law.  The catch is that on August 17, 2009 (180 days after the bill was signed), states may certify that there are not sufficient projects for green infrastructure, energy and water efficiency projects or innovative environmental projects and can then utilize the funding for conventional SRF projects.  Therefore it is very important to get your water efficiency projects on your state list for the CWSRF and DWSRF as soon as possible.   

Water efficiency projects will qualify, with or without larger infrastructure projects in the application.  Your state SRF representatives need to know your projects are out there, ready, and awaiting funding.
 
Below are links to the CWSRF and DWSRF agencies and contacts for each state.  Also posted is the final text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and a link to section of the Act regarding the CWSRF and DWSRF.  We extracted this so you don’t have to search through the entire document for it.  The next link provides a breakdown of the funding each state will receive. The second to last link is the final EPA guidance for the portion of the ARRA that includes the CWSRF and DWSRF programs.  The final link is a white paper prepared by American Rivers and the Alliance for Water Efficiency on green infrastructure stimulus.