The EPA has launched the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center — a resource for utilities, private companies and communities to help them address water infrastructure needs with limited budgets.
The center also aims to make wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems resilience to climate change.
Vice president Joe Biden and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy announced the center Friday as they toured the construction site for a tunnel to reduce sewer overflows into the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. by 98 percent.
More than $600 billion is needed over the next 20 years to maintain and improve the nation’s water infrastructure, the EPA says.
The center is part of the White House Build America Investment Initiative – a government-wide effort to increase infrastructure investment and promote economic growth by creating opportunities for state and local governments and the private sector to collaborate, expand public-private partnerships, and increase the use of federal credit programs.
The center follows another public-private initiative the White House launched this month: the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, aimed at creating jobs and boosting manufacturing within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries.
Volkswagen, Ford, BASF, Dow Chemical and General Electric are among the 57 companies participating in the Institute, which will focus on advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites that combine strong fibers with tough plastics to yield materials that are lighter and stronger than steel.