Boston, MA According to state treasurer Deborah Goldberg, chair of the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (Trust) board of trustees, more than $107.3 million in grants were awarded for 43 projects in 35 communities across the Commonwealth. The grant funds are awarded to cities, towns, counties, and water utilities to help pay for improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
“These grants will support vital water infrastructure projects throughout the state,” said Goldberg. “This investment furthers our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all Massachusetts residents by providing access to clean drinking water in even more communities this coming year.”
“Many communities across the Commonwealth are implementing important water infrastructure projects in a cost-effective manner thanks to a significant infusion of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA),” said MassDEP commissioner Martin Suuberg. “I am thankful to our federal partners and to the Clean Water Trust for their diligent efforts to ensure that these funds are put to work expeditiously to enhance and protect the environment and the health of our residents.”
The grant amounts are to be provided as loan forgiveness and are awarded by project category to provide much needed financial assistance towards high priority projects.
Additionally, communities that qualify as “Disadvantaged Communities,” determined by an affordability metric that ranks each community in the Commonwealth, will receive additional loan forgiveness funds to ensure that subsidy is given to the communities that need it most. The Trust understands certain communities face exceptional environmental and financial challenges.
By utilizing loan forgiveness, this can minimize the fiscal impact of these vital water infrastructure projects.
“All Massachusetts residents should have reliable access to safe drinking water and structurally sound water resources in their communities,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “We are pleased to put federal American Rescue Act funds to work toward financing infrastructure initiatives that will bring long-lasting benefits to water systems in these 35 municipalities.”
The Trust, in collaboration with MassDEP, helps communities build or replace water infrastructure that enhances ground and surface water resources, ensures the safety of drinking water, protects public health and develops resilient communities. It accomplishes these objectives by providing low-interest loans and grants to cities, towns and water utilities through the Massachusetts State Revolving Funds (SRFs). The SRF programs are partnerships between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. SRFs function like an environmental infrastructure bank by financing water infrastructure projects in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.