Gov. Roy Cooper and NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser announced Thursday that 249 infrastructure projects in 80 communities across North Carolina would receive $462.9 million to aid in cleaner drinking water and strengthen wastewater and stormwater systems.
The announcement was made at the Lexington Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Davidson County.
“Every single North Carolinian deserves clean drinking water, and aging water systems are a threat to the health and economies of too many of our communities,” said Cooper. “Thanks to investments initiated by the Biden administration, we can make a once in a generation transformation in rebuilding water infrastructure for towns and counties throughout our state.”
The awards are funded by a portion of $2.3 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, State Revolving Funds (including Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds), and Community Development Block Grant funding.
The state normally invests approximately $200 million annually in upgrading systems. The state plans to use the $2.3 billion over the next two years.
During the announcement, Cooper and Biser highlighted $27.9 million in funding Lexington would receive to create a new dewatering facility that will provide sewer lines across Davidson County.
In Jackson County, Cooper and Biser toured the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority in Cullowhee. The Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority will receive $4,130,000 for a drinking water treatment plant clearwell and a high-service pump replacement. The Tuckaseigee Water & Sewer Authority was created in 1992 and serves Jackson County and the Towns of Dillsboro, Sylva, and Webster.
Other projects include: the Town of Pittsboro in Chatham County will receive $17.9 million for two drinking water projects to add new treatment processes to control emerging contaminants. The town will also receive $10.5 million for a regionalization wastewater transmission system improvement project converting the wastewater treatment plant into an equalization pump station and force main to a lift station in Sanford.
For this round of funding, DEQ received 649 applications from 91 of North Carolina’s 100 counties and reconsidered applications from Spring 2022. In total, 734 applications were considered for funding, representing more than $3.5 billion.
A list of all projects funded statewide by town or county is available on the NCDEQ website.