Preserving Wastewater Treatment Facility Capacity and Enabling Economic Development

ARPA Funding Overview

A total of $10 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be available to invest in wastewater pretreatment systems that reduce high strength or incompatible waste at municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

Wastewater from commercial or industrial sources is more concentrated in pollutants than wastewater generated in residences. Specifically, the expansion of Vermont’s food and beverage manufacturing including craft brewing, dairy and meat processing and other small industries provides economic opportunity in many Vermont communities, but these businesses often produce high strength wastes that can be challenging for municipal wastewater facilities to treat.

Pretreatment facilities remove or reduce harmful pollutants before they are discharged to municipal wastewater treatment facilities. In addition, pretreatment processes can address emerging contaminants and toxic chemicals such as per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS).

Starting in State Fiscal Year 2021, $2 million will be available, with an opportunity for up to an additional $8 million in ARPA funding in future years pending legislative approval.

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Funding Details

Grant funding can be used by the municipality to develop local pollution limits to protect the wastewater treatment facility. Funding may also be distributed by the municipality to industrial users to implement, improve or expand pretreatment systems.

To assure the program provides impactful support, information gathered during a forthcoming Request for Information will be used to finalize the funding details of this program.

Eligibility

Eligible projects include treatment systems for high-strength or toxic waste, municipal local limits development, pollution prevention implementation, industrial waste surveys, and leachate treatment. Projects for private entities must pass through municipalities to be eligible for funding. Successful projects will include a solid partnership between municipalities and private entities.

Equity Considerations

ARPA funds will help disadvantaged communities address the public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and help protect them from future crises.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will prioritize inclusion and engagement with under-represented groups to advance environmental justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through project selection. The prioritization rubric will prioritize funding that supports minority and women-owned business and businesses owned by economically disadvantaged individuals.

Contact:  Ed Antczak, ed.antczak@vermont.gov;  802-622-4111