Energy and Environmental Economic Transition 2021 Year End Round Up: What is in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act?
At the end of the year, Arnold & Porter is doing a series of blog posts focused on some of the key environmental and energy provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—Addressing Emerging Contaminants
The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will provide $10 billion for states to address emerging contaminants in drinking water and wastewater. Emerging contaminants is the term for a broad range of compounds that may be found in groundwater, surface water, and municipal wastewater and that generally are unregulated. This investment is part of the IIJA’s $50 billion investment to improve drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater infrastructure in the United States.
The IIJA will provide funds to combat emerging contaminants as follows:
- $5 billion to address emerging contaminants in drinking water in rural and disadvantaged communities. These funds to support drinking water projects will be allocated evenly across five fiscal years at $1 billion per year from 2022 through 2026. The funding will be provided to states for projects that address emerging contaminants in communities eligible for assistance under Section 1459A of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The funds would allow these communities to purchase “point-of-entry or point-of-use filters and filtration systems . . . for the removal of contaminants of concern.”
- $4 billion to address emerging contaminants in drinking water. This funding will be distributed via the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to assist water utilities in addressing emerging contaminants in drinking water “with a focus on” per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These funds will be allocated evenly across five fiscal years at $800 million per year from 2022 through 2026 as grants or principal forgiveness loans.
- $1 billion to address emerging contaminants in wastewater discharges. This funding will be distributed via the Clean Water State Revolving Fund as grants to address emerging contaminants in wastewater runoff. The IIJA provides that the funds will be used “to provide technical assistance to rural, small, and tribal publicly owned” wastewater treatment facilities. The funds will be allocated across five fiscal years with $100 million appropriated in 2022 and $225 million per year appropriated from 2023 through 2026.
The Biden Administration’s Larger Push to Address PFAS and Other Chemicals in Drinking Water
This $10 billion investment follows several recent actions by the Biden Administration to address PFAS—a high priority of the Administration—including the PFAS Strategic Roadmap announced in October 2021.
EPA announced this week that it has finalized the Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule to establish nationwide monitoring for twenty-nine types of PFAS and lithium in drinking water. This rule will allow EPA to better understand the frequency and magnitude at which the chemicals are found in drinking water systems, including whether there are any environmental justice concerns. It is also expected that the rule will provide information about drinking water systems in need of future infrastructure funding to remediate emerging contaminants. Participating drinking water systems will collect samples from 2023 through 2025 with final results reported in 2026. Our environmental team will continue to follow and report on developments in this area.
© Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 2021 All Rights Reserved. This blog post is intended to be a general summary of the law and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with counsel to determine applicable legal requirements in a specific fact situation.