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ADEM allocated over $1 billion in federal, state funds for updated infrastructure

In 2022, Alabama began funding a large-scale project to update and improve every county’s drinking water and sewer needs.

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In 2022, lawmakers approved $225 million of Alabama’s share of the federal American Rescue Plan Act to address drinking water and sewer needs. In 2023, an additional $400 million. 

The remaining money comes from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management allocating funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the State Revolving Fund to bring the total amount spent on infrastructure needs to $1.1 billion in two years. 

The result is an improved quality of life and health for millions of Alabamians.

ADEM’s approach to allocating funding is based on need, by prioritizing systems and communities with the greatest need and offering grants, low-interest loans and loan forgiveness.

There are currently 500 projects underway across every county in Alabama as a result of this funding and every county will see the initiative’s benefits, with the majority of the funds being awarded to disadvantaged communities.

Even with the current progress, there remains a substantial gap between funding availability and the demonstrated need. ADEM has received applications for 757 projects from 535 out of 1,061 drinking water and sewer systems in the state.

To grant funds to every project that has applied would total over $3.4 billion in funding requests. 

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ADEM’s efforts are assisted through collaboration among state, federal and local agencies. Community groups also assist in facilitating project identification, funding allocation and application assistance for drinking water and sewer systems. 

When ARPA and BIL funds are no longer available, ADEM vows to continue serving communities through funds from the State Revolving Fund, based on where need is the most evident. 

Mary Claire is a reporting intern.

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