North Carolina received a grant of $65.6 million to fund public drinking water infrastructure improvements throughout the state. The Division of Environmental Health's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund received letters of interest on more than 500 potentially eligible projects that totaled more than $900 million in needs. The public hearing on the draft intended use plan and comprehensive project priority list was held April 3, 2009; the revised draft funding list was submitted to EPA May 4; first-round projects were awarded on May 8, with a deadline for second-round projects of June 3.
Projects on the state list were ranked based on a priority rating system. ARRA requires that 20 percent of funding must be awarded for green infrastructure projects, such as wastewater reuse, stormwater management and water efficiency and energy generation. Projects that were ready to proceed immediately were given preference. Terms of the award are 50 percent in principal forgiveness and 50 percent zero interest loan to be paid back over 20 years. North Carolina placed a $3 million cap on each applicant to ensure wide distribution of funding throughout the state.
As of July 20, two rounds of projects have been awarded.First-round project awards, made on May 8, distributed nearly $40.4 million to 35 communities in 28 counties.Second-round project awards totaling nearly $23.9 million to 28 communities were announced on July 20.
Five of the 35 first-round projects, and 20 of the 30 second-round projects to receive funding are green projects that include water or energy efficiency components. Round One funding committed for these projects is $3.3 million, while $9.5 million was committed for green projects in round two.
Project awards are not final until the Local Government Commission approves the recipient’s financial qualifications.