The Department of Natural Resources will be responsible for awarding funds to projects.
Wisconsin will receive nearly $143 million to rebuild the state's water infrastructure and tackle per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
This money comes from the recently passed $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden, which will provide billions for the nation's water infrastructure, roads, bridges, and more.
According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the $142.7 million Wisconsin is expected to receive will be made available through U.S. EPA loan programs.
According to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Wisconsin is estimated to receive $347 million in clean water and $522 million in safe drinking water loan funds over the next five years. The funding includes $95 million in grants to address emerging contaminants and $225 million to replace lead service lines.
The Department of Natural Resources will be responsible for awarding funds to projects. The EPA is also developing guidance for how states should award funding in 2022, so in early 2022 the DNR will be able to prioritize and specify the projects for Wisconsin. More funding will also become available under the infrastructure bill in the coming years.
"These funds represent a significant investment for clean water in Wisconsin. However, it's a fraction of what is needed to deal with lead, nitrate and PFAS contamination," said Tony Wilkin Gibart, the executive director for Midwest Environmental Advocates, reported The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The scale of the cost of water contamination demonstrates the importance of having strong environmental protections that prevent water pollution before it occurs."
The funding will also be used for Lakes Michigan and Superior, which includes the removal of nutrient pollution and other substances within the St. Louis River, Lower Green Bay and Fox Rivers, Sheboygan River and harbor and the Milwaukee Estuary.
The infrastructure bill will provide $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but the funding directives for the individual Great Lakes projects in Wisconsin have not yet been announced, according to Gov. Tony Evers, reported The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.