News Briefs: Florida Governor Announces Funding to Support Red Tide Research, Mitigation

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, Ohio's governor announces a grant program to replace lead pipes

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced a commitment to nearly $14 million in the Fiscal Year 2022-‘23 budget to continue Florida’s investment in combatting red tide. This funding will support dedicated research efforts through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Mote Marine Laboratory in addition to providing grants through the Department of Environmental Protection for red tide cleanup.

With the investment, since 2019, $40 million has been invested in addressing red tide, from detection to mitigation.

$4.8 million is included in the budget for the Center for Red Tide Research at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. The center was created at the request of the governor in 2019 to improve statewide red tide monitoring techniques and conduct research to better track, predict, and mitigate the effects of red tide on Florida communities.

Ohio Announces Grant Program to Replace Lead Pipes

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson recently announced approximately $2.1 million in H2Ohio grant assistance to help 48 public water systems take the first step toward removing and replacing lead water pipes.

“By helping local communities develop precise maps of lead line locations, we’re another step closer to ridding the entire state of these toxic pipes,” says DeWine. “Addressing lead service lines is not only a key goal under our H2Ohio water quality initiative, it is an important component to our commitment to the health and well-being of our communities.” 

DeWine initially launched this H2Ohio grant program with $1.4 million in March, but increased the total award amount to $2.1 million in response to high demand for lead line identification and mapping assistance.

The 48 lead pipe mapping projects will take place in communities in 31 counties. All applicants are receiving their full funding request of up to $50,000. 

EPA Announces $1.9 Billion in SRF Loans for Water Infrastructure Upgrades

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced $1.9 billion in grant funding to the State Revolving Funds to accelerate progress on water infrastructure projects. Combined with historic investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding will help states, Tribes and territories upgrade water infrastructure to provide safe drinking water, protect vital water resources and create thousands of new jobs in communities across the country.

“Our nation’s water infrastructure is in significant need of upgrades to support communities that rely on it day-in and day-out. With this funding provided through annual appropriations, coupled with investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is providing $9.6 billion in the SRFs to deliver the benefits of water infrastructure investments to more communities — especially those that have long been overburdened by water challenges,” says EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. 

 In 2022, the EPA is providing approximately $3.2 billion to the Clean Water SRFs, including $1.2 billion in new base federal grant funding being announced and $2 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This total investment represents a near doubling of annual investment in the Clean Water SRF to support a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, and addressing stormwater. More than $47 million in direct grant funding is available to Tribes, certain U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for infrastructure projects.


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