Watchdog: EPA water program had ‘limited success’ on climate

By Miranda Willson | 04/09/2024 04:19 PM EDT

Only half of the states factored in climate adaptation in their plans, putting over $1.2 billion in federally funded water projects at risk, a report said.

Photo collage for EPA Inspector General papers with folder.

EPA's Office of Inspector General released a new report on water infrastructure funds. Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News (illustration); Pixabay (stamp); KStudio/Freepik (folder); EPA (papers and logo)

This story was updated at 5:20 p.m. EDT.

EPA has struggled to ensure that states consider climate change before funding wastewater infrastructure projects, which could result in risky investments, the agency’s independent watchdog said Tuesday.

The Biden administration has issued executive orders to make sure infrastructure across the U.S. is resilient in the face of climate change. Despite EPA’s efforts to comply with those mandates, the agency has had “limited success” in getting states to account for climate adaptation and resilience through a major federal funding program, the EPA Office of Inspector General said in a new report.


That could affect the long-term durability of investments through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), the watchdog said. The fund provides low-cost financing for a variety of water projects, including wastewater treatment plants, pollution control plans and infrastructure to protect estuaries.