EPA has issued its “Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy,” directed at promoting sustainable infrastructure within the water sector. The policy encourages communities to develop sustainable systems that employ effective management practices to build and maintain a level of technical, financial and managerial capacity necessary to ensure long-term sustainability, according to the agency.

As a first step, EPA will work with state and local governments to (i) develop guidance for utilities describing how they should enhance system-wide planning processes including consideration of other community sustainability goals, lifecycle cost analyses and evaluation of alternatives; (ii) promote the use of drinking water state revolving fund set-asides to assist in technical assistance, asset management, rate evaluations, and project feasibility studies for development, planning and design; (iii) develop and disseminate information to potential borrowers on the eligibility of project development and long-term planning for state revolving fund assistance; and (iv) evaluate barriers to access funding for small and disadvantaged communities and develop approaches to improve access.