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Evers, DNR announce $414M for wastewater and stormwater projects

Funding can be used to improve aging equipment and reduce pollutants released into waterways

Chad Cooper (CC-BY)

Gov. Tony Evers and environmental regulators announced Wednesday that the state is devoting a record $414 million to addressing aging wastewater and stormwater systems in Wisconsin.

The financing will be available to 84 communities for building or improving wastewater and stormwater infrastructure through the Clean Water Fund Program overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The funding can be used to reduce phosphorus in discharges, which can contribute to algae formation on lakes and streams. The money can also address aging equipment, and it’s being targeted to small and disadvantaged communities.

“Helping communities replace and modernize aging systems to ensure they meet federal and state regulations is a critical part of our work to ensure every Wisconsinite has healthy, safe, and clean drinking water from their tap,” said Evers in a news release. “These dollars will help communities ensure they have the infrastructure their residents can trust to address wastewater and stormwater and be even better prepared to handle any future challenges that may arise.”

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The funding is a mix of state financing under the Clean Water Fund Program with additional funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed two years ago.

The vast majority of the funds will be made available as low interest loans while around $56 million will be awarded as principal forgiveness, which means it reduces the amount that must be repaid.