The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $248,000 in grant funding to help Wyoming communities address stormwater and sewer infrastructure needs, according to a press release.

“Heavy rainfall can flood communities, overload facilities that collect and treat wastewater and contaminate our waterways with sewage and pollution,” said KC Becker, EPA Regional Administrator.

“With $248,000 in grant funding, EPA is helping Wyoming address the threat of stormwater inundation in communities that need it most," Becker said.

The news release did not say how Wyoming will distribute those funds.

States may now apply for grant assistance to fund projects to help small and financially distressed communities strengthen their wastewater and stormwater collection systems against increasingly intense rain events and prevent contaminants from polluting waterways.

The Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program is part of the the Biden-Harris Administration Investing in America agenda. This funding for Wyoming is part of the $50 million in grants that EPA made available nationally.

Stormwater management is a complex environmental challenge because the costs to construct, operate and maintain stormwater infrastructure can be significant. This investment follows changes made by the bipartisan Infrastructure Law to prioritize projects for small and/or financially distressed communities and prevents cost share requirements from being passed on to these communities.

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Stormwater can be a significant source of water pollution and a public health concern. Stormwater can collect various pollutants including trash, chemicals, oils and sediment and convey them to nearby waterways. Stormwater and groundwater can also enter wastewater collection systems through stormwater routed to the sewage system, manholes in low-lying area, and leaky or broken sewer pipes. When mixed with domestic and industrial wastewater, stormwater can overwhelm the wastewater sewer pipes and contribute to sewer overflows during heavy storm events.

In the past, states and communities shared a portion of the costs associated with projects funded through the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changed the program so that 25% of Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program funds go to available projects in small and/or financially distressed communities. To encourage investment in these critical projects, EPA also modified the grant program so that state grantees are not required to contribute cost share money for projects in small or financially distressed communities.

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