In our recent interview with Al Armendariz, the former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (now with the Sierra Club), he pointed out the role that the EPA plays in financing safe drinking water throughout the state.
“You know, the majority of water and wastewater plants throughout Texas and neighboring states have been funded or partially funded with federal financing that came through the EPA,” Armendariz said.
Today the EPA announced they’re giving more than $57 million in grants to the Texas Water Development Board fund for drinking water. “The funds will be used by the state of Texas to provide loan assistance to eligible water systems for infrastructure improvements needed to ensure safe drinking water is available to Texas residents,” the agency says.
It works like this: public water systems get low-cost loans and financial assistance to build or maintain their infrastructure for safe drinking water.
“The program helps to ensure that the nation’s drinking water supplies remain safe and affordable, and that public water systems that receive funding are properly operated and maintained,” the agency says in their announcement.
Region 6 of the EPA (which includes Texas and some neighboring states) has also made the same grants recently to Louisiana ($16.9 million), Oklahoma ($11 million) and New Mexico ($600,000), as well as several Indian tribes.