Governor Carney Announces Five-Year Effort to Improve Water and Wastewater Systems, Protects Residents

NEWARK, Del. – Governor John Carney announced Wednesday that state agencies will begin accepting applications to loan or grant money for drinking water and wastewater system improvements around the state, with capacity for historic levels of investment in water infrastructure from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the state Clean Water Trust, created in 2021.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — championed by U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and signed by President Biden in November 2021 — is a once-in-a-generation commitment to improving roads, bridges, transit, water and wastewater systems, broadband, energy and other infrastructure areas.

Cities, towns, counties, water companies and communities are eligible to apply for the increased and more flexible funding coming from the federal government to the existing Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) administered by the state Division of Public Health and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF, which focuses on wastewater and stormwater projects) administered by the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. As directed by Congress, these existing processes will manage requests and inquiries related to this funding. The joint DWSRF/CWSRF workshop to begin the 2022 application process takes place Thursday, March 24 at 10 a.m. and pre-registration is open.

On Wednesday, Governor Carney toured a City of Newark water facility that used funding from the state Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to construct a 250,000-gallon storage tank, install a contaminant removal system, and complete plant building upgrades that will allow for additional treatment if needed in the future.

Click here to view photos from the tour.

“Delawareans deserve clean water. It’s as simple as that,” said Governor Carney. “Access to clean and safe water should be a promise we make to our residents, and we need to protect this resource for future generations. The combination of the Clean Water Trust – led by Representative Longhurst and Senator Townsend – and the new federal funding led by Senators Carper, Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, will help us deliver on the promise of clean water for all Delawareans.”

With Delaware’s $315 million for clean water and drinking water from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more money will be available for the next five years for the types of water and wastewater projects traditionally financed by the funds, and with dedicated funding for disadvantaged communities, to address emerging contaminants such as PFAS, and to find and replace remove lead water lines or water line components. Delaware water systems are not known to have many lead water lines, but the funding can be used for a federally required inventory of systems for any lead lines and components that must be completed by October 2024, as well as for any needed replacements.

In the 2022 round of annual loans and grants, Delaware communities will have access to:

  • $29 million for the general Drinking Water fund projects, such as source water protection, treatment, storage, distribution, cybersecurity and sustainable energy projects, which is almost three times as much as usual
  • $16.5 million for the general Clean Water fund projects, such as wastewater treatment plant upgrades, septic elimination projects, and sewer interceptor rehabilitations, which is about twice as much as usual
  • $28 million specifically for lead service drinking water line identification and, if needed, replacement, which is new dedicated funding
  • $8 million for projects to address PFAS or other emerging contaminants in drinking water or wastewater systems, which is also new dedicated funding

Of the traditional project lines and the lead pipe replacement lines, 49 percent of the fund must be provided as forgivable loans or grants to communities that qualify as disadvantaged. The definition of disadvantaged varies by programs but can be updated by the state programs this year to expand the potential access. The emerging contaminant funds also have requirements for spending in disadvantaged communities.

“Clean water is critical to everything we do – from our health to our environment and to our economy – access to safe and clean water is a basic necessity,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Ph.D., R.N. “Thanks to President Biden and our Congressional Delegation, these critical infrastructure funds along with the Clean Water Trust Fund will help ensure clean water for all Delaware communities, particularly the underserved. Protecting our water quality is the foundation of a stronger and healthier Delaware.”

“Planning for the future is a key strategy in responding to emerging contaminants,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “DPH is thankful and pleased to support Newark and other municipalities and communities in providing clean water to residents. The infrastructure investments being made now, and that will be possible with the funds coming to Delaware, will substantially expand DPH’s reach to ensure all Delawareans have access to safe drinking water.”

“With this historic investment, we will be able to advance our goal of clean water for all Delawareans,” said Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Even so, addressing the water challenges of our state will not happen overnight. We have a lot of work to do – work we’ll do together – to support water quality improvement projects in communities across Delaware, particularly our overburdened and underserved communities.”

The federal funding will work in conjunction with the state’s Clean Water Trust, created in 2021 to plan and deploy water investments from multiple funding sources. Because of the five-year increase in infrastructure funding from the federal government, the state water loan programs are urging potential applicants to consider the next several years of improvements, and to potentially apply for planning grants this year that could turn into infrastructure projects that need to be funded in future years.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s provisions include the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act that Senator Carper authored in the Environment and Public Works Committee in the U.S. Senate. Specifically, the law will provide states with increased State Revolving Loan funding and program flexibilities that allow them to invest in community water projects to address aging infrastructure and improve water quality.

“Up and down the state and across the country, we’ve seen the dire consequences when our water infrastructure fails. That’s why we made unprecedented investments in our nation’s water infrastructure through the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Senator Carper. “I am proud that our committee’s work led to this announcement today and that we are now one step closer to ensuring that all Delawareans – and all Americans — have clean and safe drinking water and wastewater.”

“Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right,” said Senator Coons. “The bipartisan infrastructure framework that President Biden signed into law is a blue-collar blueprint for our country to deliver historic investments, including upgrades to our water systems so that every Delawarean can enjoy that right. Thanks to Governor Carney and my colleagues in the congressional delegation, and we’re one step closer to all Delawareans having access to the clean drinking water they deserve.”

“Access to clean, safe, and reliable drinking water has been a mounting crisis in our country including in communities right here in Delaware, and ensuring access is critically important for improving not only Delawareans’ quality of life but our overall public health,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “That’s why I was proud to vote for President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that brings the largest investment in drinking water and wastewater in American history, and I commend Governor Carney for utilizing this funding, compiled with the Clean Water Trust, to ensure Delawareans have access to clean water across the state.”

For more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, visit: de.gov/infrastructure

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Delaware to Solicit Water Quality Improvement Projects With Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding

Virtual Public Workshop Scheduled on March 24

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, in conjunction with the Division of Public Health, will begin soliciting for new water quality improvement projects March 24 as DNREC and DPH start to develop 2022 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving (DWSRF) project priority lists. Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF project priority lists to be considered for funding – this year, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding for clean water and drinking water projects will be provided through the existing State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.

Notices of Intent (NOI) for SRF wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects must be received by DNREC Environmental Finance by close of business at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25.

DNREC will hold a State Revolving Loan Fund virtual public workshop at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 24 offering a detailed overview of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. Attendees will get guidance on requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs. Pre-registration for the virtual workshop is required.

Workshop attendees also will learn how SRF programs administered by DNREC Environmental Finance can provide a wide range of financial assistance, including:

  • A one-stop loan application process for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project assistance, including new funding available under the B
  • New under BIL – supplemental funding available to address emerging contaminants and lead service line replacement
  • New under BIL – additional subsidies to disadvantaged communities for water infrastructure projects
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The workshop also will cover information about planning tools to assist SRF applicants

  • Wastewater, drinking water, and surface water matching planning grants
  • Asset management planning grants
  • Project planning advances
  • Planning and design loans

Additionally, the workshop will offer guidance on how and when to submit projects for funding consideration; project ranking criteria; project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants. Information on the loan and grant programs and applications can be found at de.gov/envfinance.

Applications for wastewater, drinking water, surface water matching planning grants are also due by DNREC close of business at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Environmental Finance team administers Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, making funding available to municipalities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov.


Delaware to Solicit Projects for Water Quality Funding

Public Workshop Scheduled on Aug. 11

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, in conjunction with the Division of Public Health, will begin soliciting for new water quality projects Aug. 11 as DNREC and DPH start to develop 2021 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving (DWSRF) project priority lists. Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF project priority lists to be considered for funding.

A State Revolving Loan Fund virtual public workshop will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11 via Webex and offer a detailed overview of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. Attendees will get guidance on requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs. Pre-registration for the workshop is required.

Workshop attendees also will be informed that State Revolving Fund programs administered by DNREC Environmental Finance can provide a wide range of financial assistance, including:

  • A one-stop loan application process for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project assistance
  • Land conservation and water quality improvement loan sponsorship programs
  • Source water protection loans for drinking water supplies
  • Wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater matching planning grants
  • Community water quality improvement grants
  • Asset management planning grants
  • Project planning advances
  • Planning and design loans

The workshop also will offer guidance on how and when to submit projects for funding consideration, project ranking criteria, project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants.

Notices of Intent (NOI) for State Revolving Fund wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects are due by DNREC close of business at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Environmental Finance team administers Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, making funding available to municipalities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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FY2021 Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds Soliciting Projects for Improving Water Quality

Virtual Public Workshop Set Jan. 13 by DNREC

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, in conjunction with Delaware Division of Public Health, will begin soliciting for new projects Jan. 13 as DNREC and DPH work to develop 2021 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) project priority lists (PPLs). Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF PPLs to be considered for funding.

A State Revolving Loan Fund virtual public workshop will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13 via Webex and offer a detailed overview of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. Attendees will get guidance on requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs. Pre-registration is required at https://stateofdelaware.webex.com/stateofdelaware/onstage/g.php?MTID=eff1367fd68a463c992ff312622eb27d4.

Workshop attendees also will learn how State Revolving Fund programs administered by DNREC Environmental Finance can provide a wide range of financial assistance, including:
• A one-stop loan application process for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project assistance
• Land conservation and water quality improvement loan sponsorship programs
• Source water protection loans for drinking water supplies
• Wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater matching planning grants
• Community water quality improvement grants
• Asset management planning grants
• Project planning advances
• Planning and design loans

The workshop also will offer guidance on how and when to submit projects for funding consideration, project ranking criteria, project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants.

Notices of Intent (NOI) for State Revolving Fund wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects are due by DNREC close of business Friday, Feb. 12.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Environmental Finance team administers Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, making funding available to municipalities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


DPH to Hold Public Workshop On Solicitation of Water Infrastructure Improvement Projects

DOVER – The Division of Public Health’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) will host a public workshop Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, to present and discuss the Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Drinking Water Grant, authorized under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. The workshop begins at 9:00 a.m., and will be held at the Edgehill Shopping Center, 43 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19904.

The grant program’s objective is to assist public water systems in underserved, small and disadvantaged communities in meeting Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Workshop participants will learn about the funding opportunity, state and federal requirements, eligible projects, and the competitive grant application process.

Eligible activities for assistance include:
• Investments necessary for a public water system in a small, disadvantaged, or underserved community to return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act
• Efforts that benefit a disadvantaged community on a per household basis
• Programs to provide household water quality testing, including testing for unregulated contaminants
• Activities necessary and appropriate for a state to respond to a contaminant

Small or disadvantaged communities are defined as communities with populations of less than 10,000 individuals, or communities that do not have the capacity to incur debt sufficient to finance a project or eligible activity and may become disadvantaged as a result of carrying out an eligible activity.

Grant applications of up to $609,000 will be considered. Projects will be solicited starting February 20, 2020, and are due by March 31, 2020.

For more information about the workshop or the grant, contact Heather Warren, Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Administrator, at 302-744-4739, or visit https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/wiin-grant-assistance-small-and-disadvantaged-communities-drinking-water-grant.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.