December 16, 2021
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) announced that the State of Maine has received a total of $68,390,000 to upgrade water infrastructure and address lead and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. This funding was authorized through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and awarded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) State Revolving Fund (SRF) Programs. Senator Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, was part of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the text of the bipartisan infrastructure law.
“This funding represents one of the most significant investments in water infrastructure in Maine’s history, demonstrating the transformational nature of the bipartisan infrastructure package,” said Senator Collins. “As a co-author of this law, I worked hard to ensure that it would address Maine’s infrastructure needs. All Americans should be able to have confidence that the water from their faucets is safe to use. Although Maine is home to some of the cleanest sources of water in the country, the increasing prevalence of pollutants like PFAS require action to keep our drinking water pure.
“Healthy communities need healthy water – and when Maine people turn on their shower or faucet, they shouldn’t be worried about what will come out. They should know they’re getting the clean, safe, and healthy water Maine is known for,” said Senator King. “That’s why the funding to improve water infrastructure was among the most important provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. These funds will combat contaminants such as PFAS, and help ensure Maine’s water systems are supporting the long-term health of our people. Today’s funding is just the beginning of the benefits that will be coming to Maine people through this bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will make major, long-overdue investments in the future of Maine.”
The State of Maine will use this funding to upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and address key challenges like lead, arsenic, and PFAS contamination. PFAS are a class of man-made chemicals—sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals”—that can bioaccumulate in bodies over time. They are traditionally found in food packaging, nonstick pans, clothing, furniture, and firefighting foam and have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, liver damage, decreased fertility, and hormone disruption.
The Environmental Protection Agency oversees several programs aimed at supporting clean and safe water resources. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund, created in 1987, and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, created in 1996, provide loan assistance to support wastewater and drinking water projects. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, created in 2014, provides an additional credit source for water infrastructure projects.