$ 110 million comes to Iowa for water and sewerage works | news
The government of Governor Kim Reynolds is “very good at developing a plan to use the $ 110 million federal water and sanitation funding included in the bipartisan infrastructure package signed by President Joe Biden last month strategic “.
No plans have been announced for the money, and administrative officials said they are reviewing the criteria for the allocation.
“We want to make sure we’re using it properly,” Reynolds said.
In November, before the funding was announced, Reynolds told reporters she was concerned about the level of federal spending.
“At some point, the amount of money coming in from Washington, DC is unreasonable,” said Reynolds, who previously turned down about $ 95 million in pandemic aid she believed the state didn’t need.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Friday afternoon it was awaiting further instructions from the environmental protection agency on how the funds could be used.
However, it estimates that $ 46.4 million will be used to remove lead from drinking water.
National studies have found that nearly 2 percent of U.S. children and 3.6 percent of Iowa children had elevated levels of lead in their blood – at least 5 micrograms per deciliter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Another study found that 76 percent of Iowa children under 6 had detectable levels of lead. That is higher than in all but three states.
In Iowa, a 2017 study by the University of Iowa found that one in five babies is born with elevated lead levels.
Exposure to lead can seriously damage a child’s health, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slow growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and language problems, according to the CDC.
The DNR estimates that more than half of the federal dollar goes into the state’s revolving loan funds, which provide cities, counties, and utility companies with low-interest loans for investments in water and wastewater infrastructure.
It is estimated that $ 29.4 million will be earmarked for improvements to drinking water infrastructure and $ 24.9 million for clean water – wastewater or traditional non-drinking water quality projects.
The remainder will be used to treat per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances, with $ 12.3 million for PFAS in drinking water and $ 1.3 million for PFAS in clean water, the DNR said.
The $ 110 million water quality funding is just a fraction of the $ 5 billion Iowa is expected to receive from the bipartisan infrastructure package.
The federal government cannot dictate how this money is spent, but the EPA urges state and local governments to prioritize spending on historically underserved communities that are facing challenges with access to clean water.
In the EPA’s Midwestern Region, which includes Iowa, half of the communities with water or sanitation have fewer than 425 residents, making the cost of providing clean water and treating wastewater a heavy burden.
Legislation provides for $ 50 billion nationwide for water and wastewater infrastructure over five years, including $ 15 billion for the removal of lead pipes and $ 10 billion for combating contamination from toxic chemicals that are often used in cookware, carpets, fire fighting foams, and other products.