Josie Taylor | December 6, 2021
Gov. Kim Reynold’s administration has a plan to spend the $110 million of federal funds allocated for water and wastewater that was included in the bipartisan infrastructure package President Joe Biden signed into law last month. Reynold’s said they plan to use it strategically and want to use it correctly.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said it is waiting for further guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency on how the funding can be used. The DNR estimates that $46.4 million will be used to remove lead from drinking water.
National studies have found that nearly two percent of U.S. children and 3.6 percent of Iowa children had elevated levels of lead in their blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Exposure to lead in children can cause: behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia.
The DNR anticipates more than half the federal dollars going into the state revolving loans funds that provide low-interest loans to cities, counties and utilities for investments in water and sanitation infrastructure.
The DNR estimates $29.4 million will be used for improvements to drinking water infrastructure and $24.9 million for clean water.