(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced the launch of a new grant program that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the future of water infrastructure across the state.
The Ohio Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program, which is part of Governor DeWine’s initiative to strategically invest in Ohio’s future, is open to public and non-public entities that operate water systems across the state, with emphasis placed on addressing the needs of economically disadvantaged communities.
“It is wrong that there are places in this state where clean water is not readily available, where sewage systems are crumbling, and where much-needed improvements are long overdue,” said Governor DeWine. “Working with our local leaders, we’re going to invest in the Ohio communities that need significant infrastructure upgrades to ensure that they have access to clean, safe drinking water and reliable sewer infrastructure.”
The Ohio Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program will award approximately $250 million to provide safe, reliable drinking water in areas that lack infrastructure, bring sewage treatment capacity to unsewered areas, and develop regional infrastructure to serve multiple communities.
The Ohio General Assembly funded the grant program in House Bill 168, sponsored by State Representatives Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), with money that was appropriated through the American Rescue Plan Act. Governor DeWine signed the bill into law in June.
“Investments in critical infrastructure have long-term benefits for our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Department of Development. “It will make Ohio more competitive for business development projects, while also improving the quality of life for our residents.”
“This program will make a difference in our communities and in the lives of Ohioans,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “Many Ohio communities need this assistance to help their water and wastewater infrastructure projects move forward.”
Water and wastewater construction projects are eligible for up to $5 million in grant funding, and infrastructure engineering design projects are eligible for up to $250,000. Examples of water infrastructure constructions projects include, but are not limited to:
- Sewer/wastewater treatment plant improvements/expansion
- New/replacement sanitary sewer lines
- Excess sanitary sewer infiltration/inflow correction
- Improvements to public drinking water treatment facilities
- Drinking water line improvements or extensions
- Repair, replacement, and construction of drinking water storage towers
The Ohio Department of Development, with support from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, is administering the Ohio Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program. The application, program guidelines, and a list of FAQ about the grant process are available at InvestinginOhiosFuture.Ohio.gov. Applications will be accepted until all the funding is depleted.