The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allotted $8.2 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment, the agency announced.
The money will mostly be used to upgrade wastewater systems and drinking water systems throughout the territory.
"Clean drinking water and proper wastewater treatment are fundamental to protecting people’s health, but aging water infrastructure needs to be upgraded and repaired,” EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck said in a statement. "This funding will help the U.S. Virgin Islands upgrade their drinking water and sewage treatment systems, both of which are imperative for healthy communities," she said.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, administered by the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works, was allotted $4.1 million. The program provides grants for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from rain water runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, administered by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, also was allotted $4.1 million. The program provides grants to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities.
Since 1989, the EPA has awarded $78.4 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands through these programs, which are funded annually, according to the EPA.