On February 24, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of more than $2.4 billion in funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The funding is specifically designated to assist communities with water, wastewater, and stormwater system improvements.
About the newly released funding
The February announcement represents the second release of the overall $11.7 billion allocated to the CWSRF under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Like the $1.9 billion released in May 2022, the newly released funding is intended to support water, wastewater, and stormwater upgrades. Approximately half of the available funding will be directed to underserved communities as grants and forgivable loans. Whereas traditional CWSRF funding has a 20% state match requirement, the supplemental funding’s match is reduced to 10%.
Now that EPA has released state-by-state funding allocations, it is up to individual state CWSRF programs to administer the available funding.
What types of projects are eligible for CWSRF funding?
CWSRF supports 11 types of projects:
- Construction of publicly owned treatment works
- Nonpoint source management programs
- National estuary program projects
- Decentralized wastewater treatment systems
- Water conservation, efficiency, and reuse
- Watershed pilot projects
- Energy efficiency
- Water reuse
- Security measures at publicly owned treatment works
- Technical assistance
Tips for successful grant funding applications
While the CWSRF process differs from state to state, several grant application considerations have broad applicability. Keep these five tips in mind when preparing a CWSRF grant application:
- Develop a thorough project plan: Presenting a detailed project plan that outlines the scope, schedule, and budget of the proposed project will help demonstrate project feasibility and increase the chances of receiving funding.
- Engage stakeholders: Reaching out to stakeholders, such as community members, local officials, and organizations with a vested interest in project outcomes, can help build project support and result in valuable project feedback and/or letters of support.
- Understand the requirements: Each state has its own CWSRF funding application process and supplemental funding released under IIJA has its own considerations. Carefully follow the application guidelines and provide all required information, which may include detailed project plans, cost estimates, and evidence of financial capacity. Whether it be a seasoned in-house team member or an external consultant, ensure at least one team member is assigned to understand and oversee compliance with grant requirements.
- Demonstrate the environmental and public health benefits: The CWSRF program prioritizes projects that will have considerable impacts on water quality and public health. Clearly demonstrating the potential benefits of the proposed project, such as pollution prevention, improved water quality, and increased access to safe drinking water, can increase the chances of application success.
- Plan for long-term operation and maintenance: The CWSRF program prioritizes projects that can succeed over the long term. Develop a plan for ongoing operation and maintenance of the project to help demonstrate that the effort is financially sustainable.
Contact our team if you are interested in learning more about the CWSRF or would like support on an upcoming infrastructure project.