$580 Million Investment Announced to Protect CT Waters From Sewage Pollution

Governor Ned Lamont Tuesday announced that the State of Connecticut is making a $580 million investment in construction-ready municipal water pollution control projects that will protect the state’s waters from sewage pollution and help improve water quality.

The projects announced today are on the Clean Water Fund Priority List, the state’s roadmap for administering state and federal Clean Water Funds, one of the most important resources available to protect and improve water quality.

These funds, spread over two years, include $507 million in state funding supplemented by $73 million in federal funding, which was augmented by the recently adopted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), helping to make this list of projects even more expansive than in the past. The priority list also identifies the use of supplemental BIL funds to provide additional opportunities for sanitary sewer overflow mitigation projects in Connecticut’s distressed communities, which is in line with the state’s policy on environmental equity.

View of Long Island Sound from Tod’s Point. July 30, 2022 Photo: Leslie Yager

“The projects on this list, infused with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help our cities and towns to properly manage and treat their wastewater, and in turn help make our waterways cleaner,” Governor Lamont said in a release. “These projects will also mobilize many good-paying jobs and strengthen supply chains as construction gets underway. Modernizing our infrastructure and making our communities more resilient is exactly what President Biden means by, ‘Build Back Better.’”

“These vital investments illustrate the importance of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, funding water infrastructure and pollution control projects that will have a lasting positive impact on Connecticut’s environment and residents,” the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation said in a joint statement. “Not only will these projects improve wastewater management systems across the state and protect our state’s waterways, they will also create good construction jobs for Connecticut residents. Our delegation is proud to have fought for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that helps make projects like these possible.”

“Thanks to the funding infusion coming to us through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’ve been able to expand our priority list to include more projects that will improve our state’s water quality,” Dept of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Properly managing our wastewater and ensuring we have sufficient infrastructure to do so is an essential part of being good stewards of our environment. These projects will help to keep our waterways clean and contribute to the beauty and health of our natural resources and the incredible quality of life we enjoy in Connecticut.”

On Friday, July 29, the Greenwich Sustainability Committee met in a special meeting with Ms Dykes to learn about funding available to municipalities that would support sustainability-related efforts.

According to Janet Stone McGuigan, during the meeting Commissioner Dykes highlighted this investment to the committee, which in turn plans to look into possible applications for Greenwich.

“The committee noted that municipalities awarded these funds will need to cover a portion of the costs,” she said, adding that members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation were invited to participate in Friday’s meeting in order to learn both the potential costs and benefits of such projects.

“As a Greenwich Selectperson and a co-chair of the committee, I hope Greenwich can take advantage of this opportunity for State investment. We are actively preparing for this,” she said.

The Clean Water Fund continues to prioritize project funding to address significant water quality concerns such as Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) elimination and/or mitigation projects, Nutrient (Nitrogen or Phosphorus) Removal projects, and Small Community pollution abatement projects.

In total, the priority list will support 18 construction ready projects with an approximate total cost of $580 million and offer about $245 million for projects eligible for reserve category funding (cost increases, planning, design, small community, infiltration and inflow rehabilitation, pump station rehabilitation, green infrastructure, resiliency, and collection system improvement).

Additionally, with the release of the new priority list, funding is also available to municipalities and municipalities in partnership with others for resiliency and green infrastructure projects related to wastewater collection, conveyance, and treatment. Dedicated reserves are now open for:

  • Project planning and design work
  • Collection system projects (including inflow/infiltration reduction and pump station rehabilitation)
  • Green Infrastructure projects, and
  • Resiliency projects.

Municipalities may continue to submit applications for these reserve funds through the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year. Furthermore, the resiliency project reserve includes new language identifying funding priority for projects in municipalities that have established a municipal stormwater authority pursuant to section 22a-498 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

Any municipalities interested in learning more about available reserve funding should visit the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Clean Water Fund Financial Assistance webpage for details and applications. For further information, contact [email protected].