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About the American Rescue Plan (ARP)

In March of 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. This Act provided $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief for state and local governments, hard-hit industries, and communities; tax changes affecting individuals and business; and other provisions. ARP will provide Tennessee state government with $3.91 billion and Tennessee local governments will receive $2.28 billion between cities and counties.

One way that ARP funds may be used is for necessary investments in water infrastructure. Addressing Tennessee’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure is a critical need. Reports produced by various sources cite necessary investment in Tennessee drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure ranging from $5 to 15 billion dollars between now and 2040. 

Tennessee’s communities and economy rely on access to clean, reliable, and abundant water resources and services. Water makes Tennessee thrive and supports many significant activities, such as:

  • Drinking water and sewer services for residents and businesses,
  • Agriculture,
  • Major industrial operations,
  • Transportation of goods on navigable waters, and
  • Recreational activities on lakes, rivers, and streams.

In August 2021, Tennessee’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group (FSAG) dedicated $1.35 billion of Tennessee’s Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects. In September 2021, the US Treasury will release the Final Rule on eligible uses of the funds.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) will award approximately $1 billion in the form of non-competitive grants to communities for eligible water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects as part of the Tennessee Water Infrastructure Investment Program. This summary pertains to these grants only. Roughly $350 million will be allocated towards state-initiated priority projects. During a later phase of this program, TDEC will launch a competitive granting program using any remaining funds.

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This Page Last Updated: December 3, 2021 at 2:40 PM