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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL, is a federal infrastructure funding package that was signed into law on Nov. 15, 2021. In part, the law provides the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with funds that can be awarded to states for water quality infrastructure projects for five years, from May 2022 – 2026, through State Revolving Fund programs.

To ensure that all communities benefit equitably from this historic investment in water infrastructure, a significant portion of funds will be provided as forgivable loans, with environmental justice and economic factors as considerations. 

Funding availability 

  • Oregon allocation of appropriations supplemental BIL stimulus for FFY2022:
    • CWSRF = up to $20.2 million
    • Increasing amounts for four years thereafter
  • DEQ intends to submit its application to EPA for supplemental funds as early as fall 2022, and making funds available to communities in 2023.

How to apply

  • Project and borrower eligibilities will be the same for BIL-funded projects as the base CWSRF program.
  • To learn if your community and project is eligible for future BIL funding, submit a Loan Information Request Form anytime.
  • Applications are accepted year-round, but projects will be reviewed, scored, and ranked after submission deadlines. Upcoming deadlines for receiving applications:
    • By 11:59 p.m. PT on Aug. 12, 2022
    • By 11:59 p.m. PT on Dec. 9, 2022
    • By 11:59 p.m. PT on April 14, 2023 
DEQ will post more information in the coming weeks and months as EPA provides update.

BIL will infuse DEQ's Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program with additional funding annually for five years, starting in fall of 2022, allowing the program to support more water quality and infrastructure improvement projects throughout Oregon. For eligible borrowers, this means millions of dollars more that will be available as below-market interest rate loans for construction of wastewater and stormwater treatment facilities and collection systems; nonpoint source pollution management; construction, repair, or replacement of decentralized wastewater treatment systems; construction of nature-based infrastructure solutions; and other uses associated with the management of wastewater and stormwater. 

The funding provides opportunities for principal forgiveness to benefit disadvantaged communities and free technical assistance for planning, developing, and managing projects and meeting loan requirements. ​

The CWSRF finances planning and construction of wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects to help restore and protect Oregon's water quality. Additionally, CWSRF loans fund green infrastructure, publicly owned projects for reusing or recycling municipal wastewater and stormwater, and a wide range of watershed projects. Communities that need technical assistance developing a loan application for water quality improvement projects can request help on the CWSRF website.​​

BIL funds can support communities and projects with the same current CWSRF program eligibilities. Eligible public agencies include tribal nations, cities, counties, sanitary districts, soil and water conservation districts, irrigation districts, various special districts, and certain intergovernmental entities. "Public agency" in this program is defined by ORS 468.423. The program also lends to certified nonprofit Community Development Financial Institutions to make sub-loans for the repair or replacement of a failing septic system, or connection to a public sewer system.

With BIL, the CWSRF will be able to help more communities by providing more of the incentives that the program already offers. These includes below-market interest rates, forgivable loan principal that does not need to be repaid and free technical assistance. Principal forgiveness is awarded to eligible borrowers who have a green/sustainable project that meets EPA criteria or are an economically disadvantaged community.​

Funding awards are subject to a variety of federal requirements including Davis Bacon and American Iron and Steel. Additionally, there will be a new requirement called “Build America Buy America” that will expand the type of materials that must be domestically sourced. The goal is to ensure that U.S. companies benefit the most from these additional project dollars.