PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Office of Water Resources is reminding the public that the deadline for submission of water pollution abatement and other eligible projects to be included on the state fiscal year 2023 project priority list (PPL) is Friday, March 25.
The PPL is used in the decision-making process for financial assistance from the Rhode Island Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) as administered by the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB).
A project must be included on the PPL to receive financial assistance through the CWSRF, including the additional funding being directed to CWSRF through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Any contemplated eligible project and any ongoing project that is currently receiving financial support from the CWSRF should be submitted for inclusion on the FY2023 PPL. Please note that with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and subsequent appropriations by Congress, a greater proportion of the CWSRF will be provided in the form of principal forgiveness subsidy than in the past.
The CWSRF program funds a wide array of water pollution abatement and water quality improvement sustainability projects. Eligible types of projects include:
• Wastewater infrastructure including projects related to sewers, pump stations, and treatment facilities. • Combined sewer overflow abatement. • Community on-site wastewater treatment system repair programs. • Stormwater mitigation projects, particularly Green Stormwater Infrastructure. • Capital equipment necessary to maintain Green Stormwater Infrastructure. • Riverbank and estuarine restoration projects (including wetland, floodplain, riparian buffer, and salt marsh restoration). • Landfill closures. • Alternative energy and energy efficiency projects that benefit a water pollution treatment facility. • Projects that make wastewater infrastructure more resilient to the effects of climate change. • Water efficiency improvements (methods that reduce water consumption or loss). • Planning and design for stormwater or wastewater capital projects (must be a reasonable expectation that the project will result in a fundable capital project).
DEM encourages applicants to include potential projects on the PPL even if they don't intend to apply for CWSRF in FY23. In addition to wastewater infrastructure projects, DEM is interested in increasing participation by municipal, non-profit, and other organizations planning projects related to stormwater pollution abatement, green infrastructure, non-point source pollution abatement, and climate resiliency, as well as projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. The US Environmental Protection Agency recently released guidance on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding. In the coming months, DEM and RIIB will make more information available on the new requirements and the technical assistance that will be available
To be included in the PPL, project descriptions must be submitted on forms provided by DEM. Each project must be described separately on an individual Project Information Sheet. For entities submitting multiple projects, the Projects Summary Sheet must also be completed. Applicants should feel free to submit any supporting information to further describe their project(s). All projects will be rated and ranked according to criteria contained in the Rules and Regulations for the Priority Determination System for Federal and State Assistance for Construction of Water Pollution Abatement Projects (250-RICR-150-20-2).
Please note the submission of a project for rating, ranking, and listing on the PPL does not obligate the applicant to go forward with the project, but does ensure the ability to seek financial assistance via CWSRF for eligible projects at the appropriate time. DEM will rate and rank all submitted projects and formulate the PPL. A 30-day public notice regarding the PPL will be posted on the DEM's website with the opportunity for public comment. Revisions may be made based upon comments received. The final PPL will also be posted on the DEM's website.
If you have any questions, please email Jenny Paquet, 401-222-4700, extension 277-7263. For more information on DEM programs and services, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), Facebook, or Instagram (@RhodeIslandDEM).