NEIWPCC, in collaboration with the U.S. EPA, states, and other partners, hosted the 2023 National State Revolving Fund (SRF) Workshop in Raleigh, North Carolina in July. The workshop provided attendees with opportunities to learn about SRF program implementation through panel discussions and case studies from across the country. Session topics included watershed partnerships, green infrastructure, program fraud and auditing, technical assistance, software strategies, and new funding opportunities to address emerging contaminants.
Nisha Patel, director of the Water Planning and Management Division at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as well as NEIWPCC commissioner, kicked off the workshop with remarks about NEIWPCC’s role and impact in the Northeast and beyond. Raffael Stein, EPA Water Infrastructure Division director, and Anita Thompkins, EPA Drinking Water Infrastructure Development Division director, provided an overview of new federal funding and initiatives as part of their opening remarks.
Networking opportunities allowed participants to exchange ideas and lessons learned as well as connect with technical service providers. Discussions focused on how to use new monies to achieve water quality goals, as well as strategies for connecting disadvantaged, rural, and tribal communities with the financial and technical resources to meet standards and improve public health.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the engaging panel discussions and talks, where state and federal agencies shared invaluable knowledge about Environmental Finance Centers (EFCs),” said workshop attendee Parul Baranwal, Ph.D., water quality program manager with Brunswick County, North Carolina. “These centers play a vital role in delivering targeted technical assistance and partnering with states, tribes, local governments, and the private sector, providing innovative solutions to manage the costs of environmental financing and program management.”
The workshop concluded with a presentation from Raleigh Water about a recent 0% interest $50 million SRF loan for a Bio-Energy Recovery Project at the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility, and a tour of the LEED Silver Certified Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant, which services a portion of Raleigh’s rapidly growing population.