VIRGINIA (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that the state plans to invest $411.5 million to reduce water pollution and increase access to clean water. The funds will come from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP).

Gov. Northam’s office said the plan is to make substantial investments in aging water systems and improve drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The governor and several legislative leaders are announcing proposals this week for distributing the $4.3 billion in ARP funding available to the Commonwealth in advance of the Aug. 2 special session.

“In addition to modernizing water and sewer infrastructure across the Commonwealth, these investments will go a long way towards restoring the health of our waterways and reducing pollution in our communities,” Gov. Northam said in a press release Tuesday.

The proposal includes the following:

  • $186.5 million for wastewater treatment and nutrient removal
  • $125 million for combined sewer overflow projects in Richmond, Alexandria and Lynchburg
  • $100 million to assist water systems in small and disadvantaged communities

In June, the state distributed $304.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to 190 towns to help with recovery needs including making investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of ensuring all Virginians have access to
basic necessities—safe housing, quality health care, food security, and reliable utilities,”
Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey said. “Investing in our
water systems will help advance health equity and ensure a robust economic recovery.”