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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    December 09, 2022

    Federal Funding and Wisconsin's Water Infrastructure

    Acknowledging and rectifying harm caused to disadvantaged communities are key to environmental justice in the 21st century. With the help of Congress, Wisconsin and other states are trying to improve water infrastructure, especially in communities with high populations of low-income or non-white residents.

    Prof. Melissa K. Scanlan & Misbah Husain

    rusted water pipes

    From water mains and sewer drains to rain gardens and bioswales, water infrastructure affects the quality, reliability, and affordability of water for use by humans. Whether a community struggles with too much, too little, or unclean water, each community in Wisconsin depends on sound water infrastructure for its well-being. Unfortunately, water infrastructure in Wisconsin – and nationwide – is insufficient and outdated. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2020 Infrastructure Report Card, Wisconsin received an average grade of C minus (between “mediocre” and “poor”) for its drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater infrastructure. This means Wisconsinites are at increased risk for diminished drinking water quality, extreme flooding, property damage, and more. Moreover, these negative consequences are unequally distributed, with low-income and minority communities disproportionately affected by such harms.

    The goal of Congress in passing the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (hereinafter the Infrastructure Law) is to address these concerns by bolstering funding for the nation’s water infrastructure. Pursuant to the Infrastructure Law, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allocate more than $50 billion over the next five years to finance water infrastructure projects throughout the United States – the single largest amount ever invested for this purpose.1 This includes providing Wisconsin with $142 million in 2022 alone to invest in its drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.2 To assist communities living with chronically underfunded infrastructure, the Infrastructure Law requires that 49% of the supplemental funding go to “disadvantaged communities” and those that meet “affordability criteria,” raising a question: Which communities are considered disadvantaged? This article discusses the interpretation of the term “disadvantaged communities” as used in the Infrastructure Law and analyzes Wisconsin’s approach to funding water infrastructure.

    Overview of Water-Infrastructure Federal Funding

    Water-infrastructure federal funding is predominantly channeled through two programs to states, territories, and tribes: the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (hereinafter the Drinking Water Fund) and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (hereinafter the Clean Water Fund).3 The EPA oversees the allocation of funds for both programs, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) handles fund distribution within Wisconsin.

    Melissa K. ScanlanProf. Melissa K. Scanlan, University of California-Berkeley School of Law 1999, is the Lynde B. Uihlein Endowed Chair in Water Policy and director of the Center for Water Policy at the U.W.-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and an affiliate faculty member at the U.W. Law School. She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Environmental Law Section.

    Misbah HusainMisbah Husain previously worked as a water policy specialist at the Center for Water Policy, U.W.-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences. The authors thank U.W. Law School student Sherif Halaweish for research support.

    Among the types of projects that are eligible for the Drinking Water Fund are installing water treatment facilities, rehabilitating contaminated wells, and replacing water pipes that contain lead.4 Types of projects eligible for the Clean Water Fund include constructing wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and installing green infrastructure. States are directed to establish their own programs to distribute resources obtained from these funds in the form of loans with below-market-rate interest or grants to municipalities.

    Even low-interest loans might pose too great a financial burden for water systems with a concentration of low-income rate payers.5 For this reason, the Infrastructure Law prioritizes funding that ensures that Americans in “disadvantaged communities” receive priority for financial assistance. States must provide 49% of the supplemental funding in additional subsidization to disadvantaged communities and communities that meet affordability criteria.6 Furthermore, the law disallows the use of low-interest loans to fulfill the additional-subsidization requirement. In other words, states must provide grants and principal forgiveness to fulfill the additional-subsidization requirement.7

    Defining Disadvantaged Communities

    The Infrastructure Law uses the term “disadvantaged communities” when discussing eligibility for these subsidies for the Drinking Water Fund and the term “affordability criteria” for the Clean Water Fund. Multiple factors contribute to a community being considered disadvantaged from an environmental justice perspective. Research indicates such socioeconomic factors include – but are not limited to – race, poverty, language isolation, educational attainment, and geographic location.8 A community’s water-infrastructure needs might be correlated with the presence of these factors. For example, in over two-thirds of U.S. states, areas with communities of color have a greater proportion of unmapped flood risk.9

    The Infrastructure Law does not explicitly define disadvantaged communities, instead shifting this responsibility to recipient states, tribes, and territories. With regard to the Drinking Water Fund, the Infrastructure Law refers to section 1452(d)(3) of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which defines disadvantaged community as “the service area of a public water system that meets affordability criteria established after public review and comment by the State....”10 With regard to the Clean Water Fund, states are similarly directed to develop affordability criteria for awarding additional subsidies.11 These criteria can be based on “income and unemployment data, population trends, and other data” that the recipient states determine are relevant.12

    These provisions give states significant freedom to establish their own affordability criteria to identify disadvantaged communities. The federal government also has released guidance and tools to offer insight into its preferred criteria. Executive Order 14008 established the Justice40 Initiative, which, among other things, calls for the development of a climate and economic justice screening tool for all federal agencies’ evaluation of whether specific communities are disadvantaged.13 The tool was in its beta form as of October 2022 and subject to change following a public-comment period. The tool uses an array of factors to assess whether specific census tracts meet criteria to be classified as disadvantaged, including but not limited to poverty, median household income (MHI), proximity to wastewater discharge, language isolation, housing-cost burden, and educational attainment.

    In March 2022, the EPA’s Division of Water issued a memorandum explaining its position on identifying disadvantaged communities for water infrastructure.14 In the memo, the EPA “strongly encourage[d]” states, tribes, and territories to review and potentially amend criteria and weighting of criteria to reflect affordability conditions in each jurisdiction.15

    States commonly use MHI to classify communities as disadvantaged or eligible for additional subsidies.16 For example, a state might compare the MHI of a target community to some threshold percentage of the statewide MHI, classifying as disadvantaged those communities whose MHI falls below the percentage.17 The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, an advisory committee to the EPA, recommends adopting criteria that incorporate additional metrics, because MHI alone fails to account for masked costs that might burden a community.18

    Some states have incorporated other metrics into their affordability criteria, such as comparing a community’s total assessed property value to the median assessed value of municipalities.19 The EPA now suggests additional criteria, such as percentage of vacant lots, census tracts in which 20% or more of the residents are considered to be living in poverty, percentage of population using food stamps, combined water infrastructure costs greater than a certain threshold of household income, and whether a community is in a county with a social vulnerability index score above 0.80.20

    The EPA describes the Infrastructure Law as offering a “unique opportunity” to fund water infrastructure in communities “that have too often been left behind – from rural towns to struggling cities.”21 The EPA indicated it will work with states, tribes, and territories to develop affordability criteria and definitions of disadvantaged communities.22

    Series Wraps on Water Law

    Joe ForwardBy Joe Forward

    Wisconsin has the third highest number of natural lakes of U.S. states but keeping these and other water resources clean and equitably available for all users is a challenge that increases by the day. This issue wraps a series of articles focused on Wisconsin water-law concerns.

    In part to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the most successful environmental laws of the modern era – the federal Clean Water Act of 1972 – Wisconsin Lawyer™ set out to explore the intricacies and nuances of water law through a series of articles this year.

    The 2022 Water Law Series now comes to a close. We hope readers have enjoyed learning about water management, water quality, water use and appropriation, riparian and public trust rights, shoreline development, and infrastructure, among other topics.

    As events like climate change and drought bring water preservation, management, and quality into focus, the laws surrounding water will be of increasing importance.

    Lawyers will undoubtedly help shape the future of water law in Wisconsin, a Great Lakes state with an abundance of inland lakes, rivers, streams, and precipitation.

    Attorney Paul Kent, a water law expert who served as an invaluable advisor on this Water Law Series, notes one of the recurring themes within all of the water law articles: water resources need to be viewed in a holistic way.

    “Water resource management can only be effective by viewing all watershed components – surface water, groundwater, wetlands and land use – in an integrated fashion,” Kent said. “As climate change and increased urban and agricultural development have exacerbated water quality, water quantity and habitat issues, holistic solutions are essential. Water resources are interconnected; our policy must be as well.”

    Kent also noted another recurring theme: water policy at statehood or even from 40 years ago may not be well suited to address the needs of today.

    “The uses of our shorelines have changed, our demands for water use have changed, the amount of precipitation and runoff have changed, and the sources and types of pollutants have changed,” he said. “Water policy must be flexible and adaptable to changing needs to fully serve the public interests today.”

    We thank Kent for his contributions as an advisor and author, as well as the following contributing authors to the 2022 Water Law Series: Erin O’Brien, Tracy Hames, Prof. David Strifling, Gregor MacGregor, Larry Konopacki, Michael Cain, Prof. Richard Monette, Vanessa Wishart, Jane Landretti, Mary Beth Peranteau, Prof. Melissa Scanlan, Misbah Husain, Jenny Zook, Carol Hassler, and Elana Olson.

    Joe Forward, Saint Louis Univ. School of Law 2010, is director of communications at the State Bar of Wisconsin and editor of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine. He previously was a legal writer for the organization. He can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6161.

    Water Infrastructure Funding in Wisconsin

    The DNR implements Wisconsin’s revolving loans through the agency’s Drinking Water Fund and Clean Water Fund. Both programs are financed by a combination of federal and state funding. Municipalities pay for water infrastructure with low-interest loans, grants, principal forgiveness, and user rates. The more funding that comes from grants and principal forgiveness and the lowest interest rates, the less financial pressure will be put on ratepayers.

    Wisconsin’s Requirements for Lowest-Interest Loans. The DNR determines whether financial need justifies increased subsidies in the form of loans at the lowest interest rates and principal forgiveness. Wisconsin statutes set the interest rate for the Drinking Water Fund and the Clean Water Fund: Municipalities that meet financial eligibility borrow money at 33% of the market interest rate, and all other municipalities borrow at 55% of the market interest rate.23 The statute for the Clean Water Fund establishes eligibility for the 33% rate based on MHI and a population under 10,000.24 The statute for the Drinking Water Fund delegated authority to the DNR to establish by administrative rule the eligibility criteria for borrowing money at the lowest interest rate. The DNR’s administrative rule for drinking water similarly uses MHI and population.25

    To be eligible for borrowing at the lowest interest rate, a municipality must have both an MHI below or equal to 80% of the statewide MHI and a population less than 10,000.26 These factors exclude high population centers from the most favorable interest rate (33% of market interest rate), even if the high population centers have high poverty rates.

    Milwaukee and Racine are the most racially diverse cities in Wisconsin, and many neighborhoods within them exhibit several factors linked to environmental injustice.27 Approximately 45% of the census tracts in Milwaukee County and 22% of the census tracts in Racine County are identified as disadvantaged using the climate and economic justice screening tool.28 Despite this, Wisconsin’s eligibility criteria of population under 10,000 precludes these low-income communities within larger municipalities from receiving the most favorable loan rates for water infrastructure funds.

    In the March 2022 memo, the EPA advised states to amend their criteria if they are using population as a determining factor, as Wisconsin is for both the Clean Water Fund and the Drinking Water Fund.29 To respond to the EPA regarding access to the lowest interest rate, Wisconsin would need a statutory change for its Clean Water Fund and a regulatory change for its Drinking Water Fund.30

    Wisconsin Requirements for Principal Forgiveness. Separate from the low-interest loan eligibility, the DNR sets the requirements for principal forgiveness and priority ranking for funding in its annual intended use plan, which is available for public comment and then is submitted to the EPA.31 The plan explains the basis for how the DNR assigns community projects a priority score for funding to distribute water infrastructure funds. In 2022, additional financial-need points were added to the priority score of communities whose population was less than 10,000 and whose MHI was 80% or less of the statewide MHI, placing them higher on the funding list for the Drinking Water Fund.32

    A separate score was awarded that dictates the percentage of principal forgiveness a community can access, with higher scores assigned for smaller populations and lower MHI.33 Communities were awarded principal forgiveness in the order they were ranked on the funding list based on their priority score.34 Although Milwaukee, Racine, and other cities with more than 10,000 people might rank lower on the population score, they are not entirely excluded from competing to access principal forgiveness. The practical effect, however, was that larger population centers ranked so low on the priority list that principal-forgiveness funds remained inaccessible to them.

    The EPA’s March 2022 interpretation of federal law is that in addition to avoiding use of population as a determining factor, states should review their affordability criteria to use state revolving funds for disadvantaged “neighborhoods with affordability concerns within larger communities.”35 Thus, a state could add criteria or carve out subsets within a larger urban service area (for example, a census tract) to make it more likely that such neighborhoods will receive additional subsidies for water infrastructure improvements.

    In response to the EPA’s guidance, the DNR has several options to act on criteria for principal forgiveness. The DNR could update its intended use plan to allow priority scoring for specific census tracts or add new factors that shed light on affordability for both the Drinking Water Fund and the Clean Water Fund.36

    In response to the Infrastructure Law and the EPA’s March 2022 memorandum, on Sept. 30, 2022, the DNR released its drinking water intended use plan for 2023 with significant changes: Starting in 2023, financial need points “will no longer be limited to municipalities with a population less than 10,000 and a … MHI less than or equal to 80% of the state’s MHI.”37 The DNR will award more than $20 million in principal forgiveness for drinking water in 2023 and has added additional criteria to its methodology to allocate funding to disadvantaged communities.38 The DNR added county unemployment rates and municipal population trends, factors that are already used for the Clean Water Fund, to the Drinking Water Fund. It also added the percent of family poverty and lowest quintile household income.39 Further, the plan raises the amount a municipality may receive as principal forgiveness to $1.5 million, a three-fold increase from the previous year.40

    The 2023 plan allows the use of more metrics to demonstrate financial need in disadvantaged communities, which will result in communities with more than 10,000 people being able to compete more effectively for these prized subsidized funds of principal forgiveness. Under the newly proposed ranking system, Milwaukee is highly ranked to receive the maximum allowed in principal forgiveness for drinking water.41 However, the DNR would need to pursue changes in its administrative rule for the Drinking Water Fund and the statute for the Clean Water Fund so that Milwaukee and other population centers would be eligible for the lowest interest rates.


    The Infrastructure Law provides a historic increase in water infrastructure funding over the next five years. The DNR anticipates it will annually receive an additional $30-41 million for the Drinking Water Fund, $48 million for lead-service-line replacement, and $12.8 million for emerging contaminants.42 Forty-nine percent of the first two categories of funds must be awarded as principal forgiveness to disadvantaged communities, and 100% of the emerging contaminant funds are to be awarded as principal forgiveness with 25% going to disadvantaged communities.43

    While the Infrastructure Law is filled with extensive reference to disadvantaged communities, it does not clearly define the term. States, tribes, and territories independently develop their own definitions when securing funding for water infrastructure, with opportunity for the EPA and the public to review their methodology submitted in their annual intended use plans. The EPA’s memorandum that guides spending under the Infrastructure Law indicates the EPA will be working with recipients of funds to update their definitions of disadvantaged communities, so that funds reach the intended recipients.

    Wisconsin’s statutory and rule-based affordability criteria disadvantage some of its most populous and racially diverse communities from accessing the most favorable interest rates. However, the DNR’s newly updated criteria for principal forgiveness via its 2023 intended use plan add metrics to greater evaluate financial need, allowing more densely populated communities to access subsidized water infrastructure funds.

    Water Law Series Published Pieces Cite to 95 Wis. Law. __ (Month 2022)

    Water, Water Everywhere: 50 Years of the Clean Water Act and Beyond, by Paul G. Kent, 95 Wis. Law. 22 (April 2022). Wisconsin has the third highest number of natural lakes of U.S. states but keeping these and other water resources clean and equitably available for all users is a challenge that increases by the day. Learn here about the basics of Wisconsin’s water laws and the issues that are catalysts for disputes about water use.

    SIDEBAR: Series Debut on Water Law, by Joe Forward

    BRIEFLY: Partnership for Corporate Water Stewardship

    The Challenge of Wisconsin’s Water Abundance: Managing Stormwater in a Watershed Context, by Paul G. Kent, Erin O’Brien & Tracy Hames, 95 Wis. Law. 20 (May 2022). To effectively manage stormwater quantity and quality, we need to do so in the context of watersheds and hydrologic processes rather than as a series of discrete issues and programs.

    Plugging the Holes in Wisconsin’s Groundwater Policy, by Prof. David A. Strifling, 95 Wis. Law. 40 (June 2022). Separate laws on groundwater and surface water withdrawal and the lack of a fully integrated regulatory scheme for high-capacity wells have more often led to conflict and uncertainty rather than to clarity. Wisconsin’s groundwater management regime is developing but still has gaps. The author discusses groundwater quantity and quality, the public trust doctrine, and interstate disputes.

    Water Law Perspectives from the West, by Gregor MacGregor, 95 Wis. Law. 32 (July/August 2022). Understanding the backdrop of scarcity, the perceived stability surrounding property rights, and the value of water in a dry land will help Wisconsin lawyers learn from the western United States and their residents.

    The Public Trust Doctrine: Managing Navigable Waters in the Public Interest, by Larry A. Konopacki, 95 Wis. Law. 26 (Sept. 2022). Wisconsin’s navigable waters are one of the state’s most valuable resources. The public trust doctrine plays a significant role in ensuring that they are managed in the public interest for all state residents and U.S. citizens.

    This Land is Your Land: Keeping Public Trust Lakebeds and Riverbeds Open for the Public, by Michael Cain, 95 Wis. Law. 34 (Sept. 2022). Wisconsin’s navigable waters, lakebeds, riverbeds, and shorelines are subject to the state’s public trust doctrine. The author explains the doctrine and how tools developed by the state are used to protect these public riches.

    Water Law in Native Nation Territories, by Prof. Richard A. Monette, 95 Wis. Law. 10 (Oct. 2022). Indian water rights law is complex, meandering through federal Indian law and several relatively distinct but interrelated legal doctrines. The likelihood of more disputes about water quality and quantity makes it especially important for lawyers in Wisconsin, home to several Indian tribes, to understand the relevant legal doctrines and concepts.

    Water Quality Challenges: Nonpoint Sources and Emerging Contaminants, by Vanessa Wishart & Jane Landretti, 95 Wis. Law. 22 (Oct. 2022). Many water quality problems exist because a substance that was unknown or seemed harmless decades ago now is recognized as a pollutant. In the 21st century, state legislators and regulators and nongovernmental entities have devised ways to prevent or minimize pollution that previously was unfettered.

    Riparian Rights in Wisconsin, by Mary Beth Peranteau, 95 Wis. Law. 28 (Nov. 2022). Disputes about use of and access to water regularly occur in Wisconsin and will continue to do so, especially as rainfall becomes less predictable. An understanding of riparian rights, rights attached to ownership and use of property adjacent to bodies of water, is essential for lawyers in all parts of the state.

    Federal Funding and Wisconsin’s Water Infrastructure, by Melissa K. Scanlan & Misbah Husain, 95 Wis. Law. 8 (Dec. 2022). Acknowledging and rectifying harm caused to disadvantaged communities are key to environmental justice in the 21st century. With the help of Congress, Wisconsin and other states are trying to improve water infrastructure, especially in communities with high populations of low-income or non-white residents.

    SIDEBAR: Series Wrap on Water Law, by Joe Forward

    SIDEBAR: Water Law Series Published Pieces

    Research Resources

    Legal Resources: Researching Wisconsin Water Law, by Jenny Zook, 95 Wis. Law. 45 (May 2022). You can find water law indexed under property law, environmental law, and public health and welfare. Water is further divided by type. Here are tips to help direct your research.

    Legal Resources: Researching Stormwater and Flood Management, by Carol Hassler, 95 Wis. Law. 43 (July/August 2022). Stormwater and flood management is a field that combines expert knowledge with laws and regulation at multiple levels of government. Here is a resource list that includes quick links.

    Water Law: Public Trust Doctrine Resources, by Elana Olson, 95 Wis. Law. 47 (Sept. 2022). The author points to legal resources about the public trust doctrine, which rises from language that has been in the Wisconsin Constitution since statehood in 1848.

    Legal Resources: Researching Federal and State PFAS Regulations, by Jenny Zook, 95 Wis. Law. 35 (Oct. 2022). Regulation of PFAS has become a priority for municipalities, farms, manufacturers, and fire departments and firefighters, among others. Here are research tips for lawyers representing such clients.

    Legal Resources: Researching Riparian Rights, by Jenny Zook, 95 Wis. Law. 51 (Nov. 2022). This article introduces lawyers to general, Wisconsin, and federal resources concerning riparian rights: water rights related to ownership of land next to surface water.


    State Bar PINNACLE is planning a full-day Water Law seminar on April 5, 2023. Watch Marketplace on for details, including presenters and topics. Details to come in early January 2023.


    1 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 117-58, 135 Stat. 443, 1399–1400 (2021); U.S. Env’t Prot. Agency (EPA), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: A Historic Investment in Water 1 (2021), To stay up to date, visit

    2 Letter from Michael Regan, Adm’r, U.S. EPA, to Wis. Governor Tony Evers (Dec. 2, 2021),

    3 Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C § 300j-12, 19a; Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1383.

    4 DWSRF Eligibility Handbook 10-13 (2017),

    5 Nat’l Env’t Just. Advisory Council, EPA’s Role in Addressing the Urgent Water Infrastructure Needs of Environmental Justice Communities 22 (2018),

    6 U.S. EPA, Fact Sheet: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: State Revolving Funds Implementation Memorandum 3 (2022),

    7 Id. at 1.

    8 Daniel Krewski et al., Overview of the Reanalysis of the Harvard Six Cities Study and American Cancer Society Study of Particulate Air Pollution and Mortality, 66 J. Toxicology & Env’t Health 1507, 1547 (2003); Lemir Teron, Sustainably Speaking: Considering Linguistic Isolation in Citywide Sustainability Planning, 9 Sustainability 289, 294 (2016); Jennifer Ailshire et al., Neighborhood Social Stressors, Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution, and Cognitive Function Among Older U.S. Adults, 172 Soc. Sci. & Med. 56, 58-59 (2017); Francesca Mataloni et al., Morbidity and Mortality of People Who Live Close to Municipal Waste Landfills: A Multisite Cohort Study, 45 Int’l J. Epidemiology 806, 813 (2016).

    9 Christopher Flavelle et al., New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America, N.Y. Times (June 29, 2020), (behind paywall for some readers).

    10 42 U.S.C. § 300j-12(d)(3).

    11 33 U.S.C. § 1383(i)(2)(A)(i).

    12 33 U.S.C. § 1383(i)(2)(A)(ii).

    13 Exec. Order No. 14008, 86 C.F.R. § 7619 (2021).

    14 Memorandum from Radhika Fox, Assistant Adm’r, U.S. EPA, to EPA Regional Water Division Dirs., State SRF Program Managers, on Implementation of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, 40 (Mar. 8, 2022),

    15 Id. at 40.

    16 Nat’l Env’t Just. Advisory Council, supra note 5, at 28.

    17 See Katy Hansen et al., Env’t Pol’y Innovation Ctr. & Univ. of Mich. Sch. for Env’t & Sustainability, Drinking Water Equity: Analysis and Recommendations for the Allocation of the State Revolving Funds 28-29 (2021),

    18 Nat’l Env’t Just. Advisory Council, supra note 5, at 28.

    19 Hansen et al., supra note 17, app. C: State definitions of disadvantaged communities.

    20 Radhika Fox memorandum, supra note 14, at 41-43.

    21 Id. at 25.

    22 Id. at 25-26.

    23 Wis. Stat. §§ 281.61(11)(a) (Drinking Water Fund), 281.58(12)(a), 281.01 (Clean Water Fund).

    24 Wis. Stat. § 281.58(12)(a)(1)(b) (Clean Water Fund).

    25 Wis. Admin. Code § NR 166.13(1) (2022) (Drinking Water Fund).

    26 Id.

    27 U.S. Census Bureau, Wisconsin Population Increased 3.6% Since 2010 (Aug. 25, 2021),;see Council on Env’t Quality, Climate and Economic Justice Screening ToolBeta (last updated Feb. 18, 2022),

    28 See Council on Env’t Quality, Climate and Economic Justice Screening ToolBeta (last updated Feb. 18, 2022),; U.S. Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Milwaukee City, Wisconsin; Racine City, Wisconsin (Apr. 1, 2020),,racinecitywisconsin/POP010220. Calculations were made using the dataset for the climate and economic justice screening tool, which identifies a census tract as “disadvantaged” if it is above a defined threshold for at least one environmental indicator and socioeconomic indicator such as proximity to wastewater discharge or low income.

    29 Radhika Fox memorandum, supra note 14, at 40.

    30 The sections that would need to be amended are Wis. Admin. Code section NR § 166.13(1) (Drinking Water Fund) and Wis. Stat. section 281.58(12)(a)(1)(b) (Clean Water Fund).

    31 Wis. DNR, State of Wisconsin Safe Drinking Water Loan Program Intended Use Plan for FFY 2021 Funds for the SFY 2022 Funding Cycle, 14 (Sept. 2021),; Wis. DNR, State of Wisconsin Clean Water Fund Program State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan for EPA FFY 2021 Capitalization Grant for Funding During State Fiscal Year 2022 4 (Jan. 2022),

    32 Wis. DNR, State of Wisconsin Safe Drinking Water Loan Program Intended Use Plan for FFY 2021 Funds for the SFY 2022 Funding Cycle 10-11 (Sept. 2021),

    33 Id. at 14-15.

    34 Id. at 15.

    35 Radhika Fox memorandum, supra note 14, at 26.

    36 Wis. Admin. Code §§ NR 162.50(5) (allowing changes in IUP for Clean Water Fund), 166.23(7) (allowing changes in IUP for Drinking Water Fund).

    37 State of Wisconsin Safe Drinking Water Loan Program Intended Use Plan 2023 11, Wis. DNR & Dep’t of Admin., (June 29, 2022).

    38 Id. at 13.

    39 Id. at 13-14.

    40 Id. at 15.

    41 2023 draft WDNR funding list for Drinking Water Principal Forgiveness,

    42 State of Wisconsin Safe Drinking Water Loan Program Intended Use Plan 2023 at 7.

    43 Id. at 7-8.

    » Cite this article: 95 Wis. Law. 8-14 (December 2022).

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