News | February 20, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Over $20M For Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands Drinking Water, Wastewater, And Stormwater Infrastructure Upgrades As Part Of President Biden's Investing In America Agenda

Unprecedented funding from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is transforming communities across the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $20M ($20,022,000) from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) drinking water and clean water infrastructure upgrades. This historic funding is part of over $50B in water infrastructure upgrade investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – the largest investment in American history. Almost half of this funding will be available as grants or principal forgiveness loans, ensuring funds reach disadvantaged and underserved communities most in need of investments in water infrastructure. This vital funding will support essential water infrastructure that protects public health and treasured water bodies across CNMI.

"All people deserve the peace of mind that the water they drink, swim and bathe in, and use to feed their families is safe, readily available, and clean," said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. "Thanks to President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is making this a reality for tens of millions of Americans throughout the Pacific Southwest, especially those that need it the most. In partnership with communities and state leaders, we're investing in cutting-edge technology, infrastructure, and nature-based solutions to provide sustainable, clean water that will improve the health and quality of life for communities and the environment."

Communities across the country are facing urgent water infrastructure challenges. Many cities and towns have aging water infrastructure – old, broken, or lead pipes carrying drinking water and wastewater treatment plants needing major upgrades. Some communities struggle to maintain adequate stormwater infrastructure to manage flood impacts from climate change effectively; others need to upgrade their water treatment to address emerging contaminants like PFAS.

The funding EPA announced for CNMI is part of a $5.8B investment through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), one of EPA’s signature water investment programs. This multi-billion-dollar investment will fund CNMI-run, low-interest loan programs to address critical challenges, with $2.6B going to the Clean Water SRF for wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and $3.2B going to the Drinking Water SRF for drinking water infrastructure nationwide. Today’s announcement includes allotments for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law General Supplemental funds and Emerging Contaminant funds for SRF programs for fiscal year 2024. EPA anticipates announcing allocations for billions of dollars in additional resources for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Lead Service Line Replacement fund later this Spring.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in Action in CNMI
Since 2022, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has injected nearly $63M ($62,750,000) into water infrastructure projects across CNMI, protecting public health, preserving water resources, and creating jobs.

To view some stories about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has impacted communities across the country, access the Investing in America Water Infrastructure Storymap here. For additional projects, see this Quarterly Report.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and the Clean Water State Revolving Funds have been the foundation of water infrastructure investments for over 30 years, providing low-cost financing for local projects across America. SRF programs are critically important for investing in the nation’s water infrastructure. They are designed to generate significant sustainable water quality and public health benefits nationwide. The inherent structure of revolving loans amplifies their growth by making the payment of principal and interest on loans available to address future needs.

For more information, including state-by-state allocation of 2024 funding and a breakdown of EPA State Revolving Fund funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, please visit the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund website and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund website.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)