Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Monday cities and towns could receive at least $2.5 million in state funding to complete sanitary or storm sewer projects that decrease or eliminate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in wastewater.
The funding is available through the Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP), a state revolving loan fund supported by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Through federal funding, the state can administer $2.5 million and $5.6 million for projects focused on mitigating PFAS contamination, according to the Clean Water Fund Intended Use Program (IUP) for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024.
The new funds are a continuation of the state’s efforts since 2019 to ensure tap water is safe from PFAS for residents, Evers said in a statement. PFAS, found in stain- or grease-resistant coating, don’t break down in the environment and can be found in soil and contaminate drinking water.
“I encourage all eligible municipalities to apply for these funds so that we can get our state another step closer to eliminating PFAS contamination in our water systems once and for all,” Evers added.
Potential projects that could start with the help of new funding include sanitary sewer, storm sewer or wastewater treatment plant construction requiring groundwater dewatering in areas with PFAS-contaminated groundwater, governor’s officials said. Other projects include public sanitary or storm sewer reconstruction and groundwater remediation projects on publicly owned land, officials added.
The governor urged applicants to submit a variance request by Aug. 15 for funding in the state fiscal year 2024. The Intent To Apply (ITA) deadline for the fiscal year has already passed, governor’s officials added.
Municipality leadership should send in variance requests, including municipality name, the person requesting access and Web Access Management System (WAMS) ID to [email protected], officials said. Instructions for obtaining a WAMS ID can be found on the DNR’s Online Systems webpage, officials added.
Applicants must then submit an ITA via the department’s online system by Aug. 31, 2023 with a full application by Sept. 30, 2023, officials said. The full application must include an approved facility plan, final plans and specifications, officials added.
For applicants seeking funding in the 2025 fiscal year, governor’s officials said they will not need to submit a variance request but should submit an ITA by Oct. 31, 2023. Applicants who submit an ITA for this timeline will need an approved facility plan due Sept. 30, 2024.
DNR will host a webinar at 1 p.m. on Aug. 16 with more information about variance request, ITA and application due dates. The webinar is available through DNR’s Project Lists and Intended Use Plans website under the heading “SFY 2024 CWFP.”
More information regarding variance request, ITA, and application due dates will be provided in an upcoming webinar at 1 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2023. The webinar can be accessed through the DNR’s Project Lists and Intended Use Plans website under the heading “SFY 2024 CWFP”.