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Jan 19 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites comment by March 20, 2023 regarding its information collection request (ICR) for “Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs.”

This ICR consolidates the DWSRF and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) ICRs (ICR No. 1803.08 and ICR NO. 1391.12, respectively) because they affect the same set of respondents in similar ways. Additional information collection requirements made necessary by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) are similar for both programs. Therefore, EPA is consolidating the DWSRF and CWSRF ICRs, in addition to updating and renewing them, to provide a more coherent picture of the information components of EPA's SRF program.
 
The information collection activities will occur primarily at the program-level through the State Capitalization Grant Agreement/Intended Use Plan and Annual Report. The information on the Intended Use Plan (IUP) is needed annually to describe how the State intends to use available State Revolving Fund (SRF) funds for the year to meet the objectives of the Clean Water Act (CWA) or Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and to further the goal of protecting public health. The Annual Report is needed to provide detailed information on how the State has met its goals and objectives of the previous one or two fiscal years as stated in the IUP and grant agreement. The CWA and SDWA require this information to ensure the national accountability, adequate public review and comment, fiscal integrity, and consistent management needed to achieve public health and CWA and SDWA compliance objectives.

Title VI of the CWA of 1987 established the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program, which replaced the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Construction Grants Program. As outlined in 40 CFR part 35, subpart K, State Water Pollution Control Revolving Funds, and EPA guidance, each State and Puerto Rico has its own CWSRF. The 1996 SDWA Amendments created the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). Much like the CWSRF, each State and Puerto Rico has its own DWSRF, outlined in 40 CFR part 35, subpart L.

A State's CWSRF and DWSRF include funds provided by Federal capitalization grants, repayments from prior assistance agreements, interest that has been repaid to the SRF, and investment income. In some cases, a State SRF secures additional funding though bond proceeds. Each State designs and operates its own revolving fund to provide financial assistance to eligible recipients for water pollution control and drinking water safety activities.

The CWSRF and DWSRF were established as low-interest sources of funding for a wide range of water infrastructure projects and have the flexibility to use options beyond low interest loans. States have the authority to use the SRFs to issue and refinance loans, purchase or guarantee local debt, and purchase bond insurance. States may also set specific terms such as interest rates and repayment periods. The CWSRF can also issue loan guarantees, and in 2009, Congress authorized States to provide further financial assistance via the CWSRF program in the form of grants, principal forgiveness, and negative interest rate loans. Under the DWSRF, a State may, at its discretion, establish disadvantaged community criteria and offer negative interest rates, principal forgiveness, and/or an extended repayment term.

Congress provides EPA annual appropriations for providing capitalization grants to State SRFs. EPA awards these grants to each State upon the State's submission of a grant application, which includes an IUP. While EPA provides oversight that ensures that States' procedures are consistent with the CWA or SDWA and accompanying regulations, the States have a great deal of autonomy in administering the program and selecting which projects receive funding. Additional information about the CWSRFs and DWSRFs are available at https://www.epa.gov/​cwsrf/​learn-about-clean-water-state-revolving-fund-cwsrf and https://www.epa.gov/​dwsrf/​how-drinking-water-state-revolving-fund-works#tab-1, respectively.

This ICR renews the OMB Number 2040-0185 DWSRF ICR and provides updated estimates of the reporting burden associated with the information collection activities for both DWSRF ICR and CWSRF ICR.

The individual information collections covered under this ICR are briefly described as follows . . . .
 
Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) https://www.epa.gov/dwsrf
Draft technical documentation: https://www.regulations.gov/docket/EPA-HQ-OW-2002-0059/document?postedDateFrom=2022-11-06&postedDateTo=2023-02-03
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-00894

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