Public Health & Recreation

Rhode Island Water Infrastructure to Receive $47 Million Federal Makeover


Rhode Island is receiving $47.5 million in federal funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The money will support water infrastructure projects that protect public health and important waterbodies across the state. Nearly half of this funding will be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans, ensuring money reaches underserved communities most in need of investments in water infrastructure, according to EPA regional administrator David Cash.

“Outdated infrastructure and aging pipes that fail; climate change impacts that cause sewer systems to overflow; emerging contaminants, like PFAS, that may affect our health — these are challenges that communities across our region face every day, especially in underserved and disadvantaged communities,” Cash said.

The funding is part of a $50 billion investment in water infrastructure upgrades from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — the largest such investment in U.S. history.

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

Communities across the country are facing water infrastructure challenges. Many cities and towns, especially in the Northeast, have aging water infrastructure — old, broken or lead pipes carrying drinking water — and wastewater treatment plants in need of major upgrades.

Some communities struggle to maintain adequate stormwater infrastructure to effectively manage flood impacts from climate change, and others need to upgrade their water treatment to address emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Since 2022, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has injected $187 million into Rhode Island water infrastructure projects, according to the EPA. Among the projects receiving money include $10 million to the University of Rhode Island to investigate and address local PFAS contamination and $1 million to evaluate drainage areas and develop recommendations for improved water quality treatment infrastructure and stormwater management practices in Providence.

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  1. If memory serves me correctly no Republicans voted in favor of this infrastructure bill so why is it called a bipartisan bill?
    If the Republicans didn’t vote for it why give them credit for it?

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