© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

EPA Announces $38 Million For Kentucky Drinking Water Infrastructure

Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky will receive more than $38 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to improve the commonwealth's ailing water infrastructure.

The state's drinking and wastewater systems are getting older and need investment, particularly in smaller, rural counties that don’t have the revenues to maintain water and sewer lines.

Earlier this year, Kentucky’s drinking and wastewater systems received a “C+” and a “C-“ from the American Society for Civil Engineers. The Kentucky Division of Water said the state needs as much as $14 billion over the next 20 years for its drinking water, wastewater and dam infrastructure.

Wednesday's announcement is part of a $2.6 billion effort on behalf of the Trump Administration to improve the country's infrastructure and public health. Each year Congress authorizes the EPA to provide the funding.

“Helping our states invest in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure ensures clean and safe water necessary to support local needs,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary Walker, in a press release.

The Kentucky Infrastructure Authority awards the majority of the funding to distressed utilities through low-interest loans and principal forgiveness, said Donna McNeil, executive director. Profits generated from the loans then go back into the state fund to help other communities, she said.

"It could really help those communities that are desperate in need to stay in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act or the Clean Water Act," McNeil said.

McNeil's office is currently drafting a plan for how the funds will be used. After that, utilities in need will receive an invitation to apply for the funds. The EPA usually begins allocating monies in July, she said.

Another approximately $5 million will go to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet for salaries, technical assistance and other programs, McNeil said.

Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.