Water: Clean Water Financing
Construction Grants Program
During the 1970s and 1980s, the Construction Grants program was a major source of federal funds, providing more than $60 billion for the construction of publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities. These projects, which constituted a significant contribution to the nation's water infrastructure, included sewage treatment plants, pumping stations, and collection and interceptor sewers; rehabilitation of sewer systems; and the control of combined sewer overflows. EPA's effective management of the Construction Grants program led to the improvement of water quality in thousands of municipalities nationwide.
With the 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act, Congress set 1990 as the last year that grant funds would be appropriated for the Construction Grants program. By phasing out the Construction Grants program, EPA shifted the method of municipal financial assistance from grants to loans provided by Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). At present, funding for the Construction Grants program exists only in the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and the outer Pacific Islands as these governmental entities were exempted by the Clean Water Act amendments from establishing CWSRF programs. These governmental entities can use their share of the CWSRF allocation for the Construction Grants program.