Leaders Encourage Municipalities to Submit Projects for Funding
PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, joined by Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, and Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank CEO Jeffrey Diehl today toured Woonsocket’s new state-of-the-art drinking water treatment facility (financed via a $55 million Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan) to highlight the nearly $700 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding available to Rhode Island municipalities and quasi-public entities for investments in clean and drinking water infrastructure projects.
“We cannot take for granted our everyday access to clean and drinking water,” said Governor McKee. “That is why investment in this infrastructure is so critical. Rhode Island has an historic opportunity to tap into Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for upgrades to treatment facilities, water mains, and pipes that will provide residents with clean, healthy water and help our environment for generations to come.”
Over the next 5 years, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank will receive $695 million to fund clean and drinking water projects across the state. This includes over $500 million for clean and drinking water infrastructure, $141 million to replace lead service lines, and $41 million to address emerging contaminants like PFAS.
“Clean water infrastructure is an environmental justice issue and I’m glad it was a priority in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “Not only will these funds combat climate change, protect our waterways, and promote access to clean drinking water, but they will also create good paying jobs as evidenced by our tour today of Woonsocket’s new drinking water treatment plant.”
“High‐quality infrastructure and a clean environment are vital to Rhode Island’s economic prosperity,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “The $695 million in Infrastructure Bill funding will help create greater economic opportunity by putting people to work in good-paying jobs that would protect the beautiful Narragansett Bay, as well as local beaches, rivers and streams that make Rhode Island a great place to live while ensuring the water that comes out of the tap, is clean and safe.”
Project eligibility is wide-ranging and may include upgrades to treatment plants, water mains and pipes, or other water-related investments. Green infrastructure projects that address stormwater runoff, provide green space, fund water conservation and efficiency, and improve habitat efficiency may also be eligible for funding.
“Thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Rhode Island has a truly historic opportunity to invest in clean and drinking water infrastructure projects critical to the health of our communities, our businesses, and our environment,” said Jeffrey Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “Over the next 5 years, the Infrastructure Bank anticipates receiving nearly $700 million for clean and drinking water projects, with many of these dollars coming in the form of direct grants or 100% principal forgiveness loans. From upgrading water treatment facilities, to investing in water mains, to replacing lead pipes, to green infrastructure projects that manage stormwater while creating green space, we want our municipal partners to think big, creatively, and to submit their projects for funding.”
Rhode Island municipalities, quasi-public entities and other small water systems are encouraged to submit their projects to Project Priority Lists maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Health (drinking water) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (wastewater and stormwater). In collaboration with partner agencies, the Infrastructure Bank will assist in scoping and submitting clean and drinking water infrastructure projects for funding.