The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that Maine will receive $62 million to fund essential upgrades to drinking water infrastructure.

Maine’s funding is part of President Biden’s infrastructure program to help ensure that communities have access to clean and safe drinking water. Maine’s share is coming from $6.5 billion that the EPA will distribute to states, tribes and territories in 2023.

The EPA wants states to focus on replacement of lead service lines, with nearly $3 billion targeted for lead service line identification and replacement. The Biden administration has set a goal of achieving 100 percent lead-free water systems throughout the U.S. About $800 million in EPA funds will be used to address PFAS and other emerging water contaminants.

“Every community deserves access to safe, clean drinking water,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic infrastructure investments in America, we have an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize America’s drinking water systems, support the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of removing 100 percent of lead pipes across our country, and protect communities from PFAS pollution.”

David Cash, the EPA’s New England regional administrator, said the funds will help historically underserved communities gain better environmental protections and provide clean and healthy drinking water for future generations of Mainers.

The four members of Maine’s Congressional delegation issued a joint statement that said the federal assistance is an important step toward providing Maine families with clean drinking water as well as protection from damage caused by storms and flooding.


“Maine families deserve infrastructure that provides clean drinking water and protects them from storms and flooding. Today’s announcement is an important step to ensure that Maine communities have the funding to improve wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. After the incredible storm we faced in December and the many challenges we face to remove toxic chemicals from our drinking water, this grant funding will help Maine make long overdue water infrastructure improvements,” the delegation said.

Earlier this month, and nearly two years after Maine imposed some of the nation’s first limits on PFAS, the industrial pollutants known as “forever chemicals,” the EPA proposed nationwide drinking water standards that agency officials said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer.

While Maine’s drinking water standards already are forcing many water providers to install treatment systems, the proposed national limits are even stricter and would force additional suppliers to filter drinking water or find new sources. The plan marks the first time the EPA has proposed such limits for PFAS, a group of compounds that are now widespread in the environment and expensive to remove from water or contaminated soils.

Maine’s $62 million allotment is based on an EPA drinking water needs survey, which assesses the nation’s public water systems needs every four years.

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