President Biden’s Investing in America program provides historic resources to upgrade drinking water infrastructure and better protect public health
TUCSON, Arizona –Today, on The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tucson Water’s investment of $30 million in bipartisan Infrastructure Act funding to protect Tucson area residents from PFAS in their drinking water. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox and EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Marta Guzman joined state and local officials to highlight how Tucson is using President Biden’s Investing in America Program to better protect drinking water from perennial chemicals and emerging contaminants.
“No one in this country should have to wonder if their drinking water is safe from PFAS – also known as forever chemicals. Today we celebrate Tucson Water for taking action to invest in drinking water treatment to protect its customers from PFAS.” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This investment demonstrates the kind of protections and infrastructure that EPA supports, both through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and our proposed standard to regulate several PFASs in drinking water and better protect communities across the country.”
With this funding, Tucson Water will build a second drinking water treatment facility for residents of Tucson, Marana and other communities in the region that will bring PFAS levels below the proposed PFAS standard. This will allow Tucson Water to maintain its commitment to providing safe and reliable drinking water to its customers in an area where groundwater is affected by the presence of emerging contaminants. The project will also increase the resilience of the water system, which currently relies on a single pipeline, reducing the need to pump water over long distances.
“ADEQ applauds the historic investments made in Tucson to ensure clean and reliable drinking water for future generations. These investments help Tucson and other Arizona communities on the front lines to protect our vital drinking water resources from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.” said Arizona Office of Environmental Quality Executive Director Karen Peters.
“The Tucson Water Project will remediate hazardous emerging chemicals from the water supply in one of Arizona’s largest cities. The ability of the Water Infrastructure Financing Authority to use funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act to provide morEthan $30 million in subsidized aid as this project will help keep water resources accessible to families in Tucson,” said Treasurer of the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority Board of Directors, Susan Montgomery. “This only scratches the surface of the good work that WIFA’s state revolving funds make possible not only in Southern Arizona, but throughout the state. WIFA is proud to work with EPA to facilitate critical water projects at affordable prices.”
“I am pleased to welcome EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox to the Sonoran Desert and share the work we are doing together in Tucson to ensure a safe and secure water future.” Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said. “I want to thank the Biden administration for providing cities like Tucson with the resources we need through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to protect our drinking water from PFAS and other perennial chemicals while securing the future of Lake Mead. Tucsonans’ “water conservation ethic is known across the country.”
“In Tucson, we have enough water to thrive, but not enough to waste.” said Tucson Water Director John Kmiec. “That’s why investments in water quality protection projects like these are so important to our community’s future.”
“I am grateful to the EPA and the federal government for recognizing the importance of protecting our water against PFAS by investing in a new treatment facility.” said Yolanda Herrera, co-chair of the United Community Advisory Council, which oversees the Tucson International Airport Superfund site. “Tucson Water takes a proactive approach to securing and delivering safe drinking water to Tucson and surrounding communities, now and for future generations.”
The bipartisan infrastructure law is an unprecedented investment that includes $10 billion in funding designed to address emerging contaminants such as PFAS. As EPA leverages these resources with its state and local partners, the Agency recognizes this opportunity to build for the future.
The Biden-Harris administration and bipartisan action by Congress delivered the largest investment in US water infrastructure to date. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act invests more than $50 billion through EPA’s highly successful water infrastructure programs. With this funding, EPA, states, tribes, and localities have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and restore America’s water infrastructure. EPA is committed to ensuring that all communities, especially disadvantaged and underserved communities, receive their fair share of this federal investment in water infrastructure. More information about the bipartisan Infrastructure Act can be found on the EPA website.