EPA Region 5 Water Infrastructure EFC

Delta Institute was selected to serve as one of the 29 Environmental Finance Centers operating for the next five years. From 2023-2028, Delta—with our key partners the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), and Current Water (Current)—will serve as an EPA Region 5 EFC in Category 2: Regional Water Infrastructure—so that more communities have access to cleaner, healthier, and more equitable water resources.

In brief: What We’re Doing

All communities need access to safe, clean, and reliable water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law creates a historic opportunity to improve water infrastructure in communities. EPA’s Water Technical Assistance efforts can help communities access their fair share of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. EPA’s Water Technical Assistance provides hands-on support for communities to assess their needs, identify potential solutions, and develop funding applications. EPA is working with nonprofit technical assistance providers, like Delta Institute, located across the country that have extensive expertise in helping communities solve water challenges – and know the value of meeting communities where they are to build trust.

Delta and our partners, as one of the EPA Region 5 EFCs, will deliver targeted technical assistance centered around funding for projects that achieve the goals of either the Clean Water Act (i.e. natural sources/bodies of water that benefit the public) or the Safe Drinking Water Act (i.e. water specifically for human consumption, and administered by utilities/municipalities). These projects will focus on water infrastructure for local governments, states, Tribal governments, and non-governmental organizations. Delta and our partners will keenly focus on historically underserved communities that have struggled to access federal water infrastructure funding.

We will work in communities who will benefit from our eligible clean- and drinking- water technical assistance services. We will take our strategy, our keen focus on and centering of equity and inclusion, and our collective organizational technical acumen to provide these partner communities with supportive water infrastructure planning/financing services they so fully deserve.

Our efforts dovetail and align with those of our friends, the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) who are also serving as Region 5 Environmental Finance Center for Water Infrastructure (Category 2) and Michigan Technical University, who is serving as Region 5 Environmental Finance Center for Multi-Environmental Media (Category 1). All Region 5 EFC efforts are coordinated between EPA, Delta Institute, GLCAP, and MTU.

Communities interested in technical assistance for water infrastructure projects should review EPA’s technical assistance request process, and then submit a short online request form to EPA to start your project’s eligibility review:

The Process: How We’re Improving Water Infrastructure

If the request is eligible, EPA connects the communities to a Water Technical Assistance provider, such as Delta, who will then connect with the community to address their requested support. EPA’s goal is to process and connect requests for Water Technical Assistance within one month of request receipt (if a request requires clarification or additional information from the requester then the connection time may be extended).

Our approach to technical assistance includes:

Targeted and focused services centered on the needs of partner communities.

Our technical assistance services will directly engage with water utilities and communities, resulting in concrete actions that put communities on the path to successfully accessing SRF funding. Delta and our partners are providing services to partner agencies inclusive of:

  • Planning and assessment: Water infrastructure project identification, planning, and set-up;
  • Project development: Ensuring project readiness for SRF application(s);
  • Funding and financing: Application assistance to secure state based SRF investment; Compliance and risk mitigation advisement;
  • Program management support: Project maintenance, stewardship, and long-term planning; and,
  • Direct Water-focused technical assistance.

Meeting technical assistance recipients where they are in their project work.

Our EFC’s approach to technical assistance will commence with and will be grounded within the water utility, municipality, and community needs, to then progress and work from that starting point. Our services will be informed by the technical, administrative, managerial, and financial realities of our partner communities. This approach directly dovetails with Delta’s current and prior municipal- and community-based water infrastructure projects.

Culturally competent services that engage the broader community.

Our EFC’s technical assistance will be provided in a culturally competent manner that supports partner communities to build trust. Earnest and consistent efforts will be made to support technical assistance recipients to engage the broader community, including harder-to-reach communities. This approach directly reflects and coincides with Delta’s organizational focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; such community engagement efforts are a cornerstone of Delta’s water- and community-focused projects.

Available Resources to Help you Plan for Water Infrastructure Technical Assistance

Our geographic focus is EPA Region 5 states, namely (east to west) Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. If you are a community within that geography, and you need technical assistance to undertake water infrastructure projects (potentially for the first time), please familiarize yourself with helpful materials and resources that can support your planning (but please reach out to EPA now with a Technical Assistance Request using the button above).


A Brief Roster of Helpful Acronym Definitions to review before you start (there can be a lot!):

BIL: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law DWSRF: Drinking Water State Revolving Fund PFAS: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
CWA: Clean Water Act GSI: Green Stormwater Infrastructure PPL: Project Priority List
CWSRF: Clean Water State Revolving Fund IIJA: Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act SDWA: Safe Drinking Water Act
DACs: Disadvantaged Communities IUP: Intended Use Plan SRF: State Revolving Fund
DWINSA: Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment PF: Principal Forgiveness TY4RT: Thank You For Reading This 🙂

Please take a moment to review the protocols and policies of your specific state, as each state has their own unique State Revolving Fund (SRF) guidelines, deadlines, and application process. Please note that EPA follows state-based guidelines, so your specific state’s policies are what we provide technical assistance toward.

From East to West, our geographic focus is Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota (EPA Region 5 States).

Is your project eligible? Review Clean- and Drinking- Water SRF eligibilities:

Please also take a moment to review the very helpful SRF Switchboard created and managed by our friends at the Southwest Environmental Finance Center that details all 50 states’ SRF requirements:

Understandably wanting more details about State Revolving Funds before you dive in? Please take a moment to sign up for a 9-part series of free trainings by our friends at the River Network to learn more about how to get your water infrastructure project funded:

¿Su comunidad necesita materiales de los programas del Fondo rotativo estatal (SRF, por su siglas en inglés) traducidos al español? El SRF State Advocates Forum recopila recursos y herramientas para ayudar a nuestros miembros a comprender y participar en el proceso de SRF. Tienen hojas informativas, bases de datos de recursos y grabaciones generales:

Our Goals: What We Plan to Accomplish in the Years Ahead

Community Collaboration and Support

Over the next five years of EFC operations, we plan that more than 200 communities will benefit from our eligible clean water and drinking water finance technical assistance services. We will provide technical assistance to at least 20 communities in 2023, and at least 30 communities in 2024. We anticipate scaling in 2025-2028 (Years 3-5) to serve at least 50 communities per year.

Securing Investment

Our goal is assisting communities to apply to their State Revolving Funds, while ensuring comprehensive representation and collaboration with communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and/or lack of historical access to funding—inclusive of Tribal, BIPOC-majority, and environmental justice (EJ) communities. Delta is consistently collaborating with EPA on the intake, review, and facilitation of eligible clean water and drinking water finance TA services to ensure the appropriate spread of TA resources while achieving EPA’s goals and implementation needs.

About Us

Delta assists communities by integrating natural climate solutions and Green Infrastructure (GI) to reduce climate change impacts by capturing 100 million stormwater gallons and leveraging $100 million in municipal GI investment. We focus on communities that are disproportionately affected by flooding and climate change to collaboratively improve their environmental indicators, mitigate local climate impacts, and strengthen neighborhoods’ resilience. Our EFC partners are experts in their fields, with extensive networks throughout EPA Region 5, and we are grateful to them–and you–for helping us achieve our vision of a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable Midwest region.

Have questions about our EFC and the Technical Assistance Intake Process? Please contact us.

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