EPA Proposes Guidance to Support Water Affordability and Clean Water Act Implementation

EPA Proposes Guidance to Support Water Affordability and Clean Water Act Implementation
“The guidance supports water affordability while ensuring that wastewater utilities can take vital steps to improve wastewater management.”
EPA Assistant Administrator for Water
Radhika Fox


About EPA’s Water Finance Center
EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center is an information and assistance center identifying water infrastructure financing approaches that help communities reach their public health and environmental goals.
EPA has issued its Proposed 2022 Clean Water Act (CWA) Financial Capability Assessment (FCA) Guidance for public comment. The proposed guidance outlines strategies for communities to support affordable utility rates while planning investments in water infrastructure that are essential for CWA implementation.
The FCA Guidance is used by municipalities when devising plans to dramatically reduce discharges from Combined Sewer Systems. During that process, municipalities and EPA negotiate schedules with specific timeframes for implementation. The Proposed 2022 FCA Guidance describes the financial information and formulas the agency intends to use to assess the financial resources a community has available to implement control measures and timeframes associated with implementation.
Once finalized, EPA intends for the Proposed 2022 FCA to replace the 1997 Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development to evaluate a community’s capability to fund CWA control measures in both the permitting and enforcement context. The 2022 FCA will also supplement the public sector sections of the 1995 Interim Economic Guidance for Water Quality Standards (WQS) to assist states and authorized tribes in assessing the degree of economic and social impact of potential WQS decisions. Previous versions of the proposed FCA Guidance released in September 2020 and January 2021 are no longer being considered.
The guidance document is not legally binding and is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. EPA is accepting public comment until 60-days after publication in the Federal Register. A pre-publication of the 2022 FCA is available until the official version is announced in the Federal Register.
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