DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Colorado was awarded a $531,000 grant to upgrade stormwater collection and sewer systems.
On Thursday, the EPA said the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants program funding will help address stormwater and sewer infrastructure needs in Colorado.
“Heavy rainfall can flood communities, overload facilities that collect and treat wastewater and contaminate our waterways with sewage and pollution,” said KC Becker, EPA regional administrator. “With $531,000 in grant funding, EPA is helping Colorado address the threat of stormwater inundation in communities that need it most.”
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Stormwater can pollute water and become a public health and environmental concern, especially if the stormwater carries trash, chemicals and more to nearby waterways. During strong storms, stormwater can overwhelm sewer pipes, contributing to sewer overflows, the EPA explained.
This $531K grant is part of $50 million in total grants that the EPA awarded nationally through the program, which recognizes the high cost to construct, operate and maintain stormwater infrastructure.
The grants can fund projects so municipalities can "strengthen their wastewater and stormwater collection systems against increasingly intense rain events and prevent contaminants from polluting waterways," the EPA said in a press release Thursday.
This grant program was updated in November through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure that small communities, including those that may face financial hardships, can also receive grant assistance with no cost to them. Previously, states and communities had to share a portion of the costs for these projects. Twenty-five percent of the grant program funds will go to projects in those areas.