The Administrator shall offer to enter into agreements with eligible States to make capitalization grants, including letters of credit, to the States under this subsection to further the health protection objectives of this subchapter, promote the efficient use of fund resources, and for other purposes as are specified in this subchapter.
To be eligible to receive a capitalization grant under this section, a State shall establish a drinking water treatment revolving loan fund (referred to in this section as a “State loan fund”) and comply with the other requirements of this section. Each grant to a State under this section shall be deposited in the State loan fund established by the State, except as otherwise provided in this section and in other provisions of this subchapter. No funds authorized by other provisions of this subchapter to be used for other purposes specified in this subchapter shall be deposited in any State loan fund.
The grant to a State shall be available to the State for obligation during the fiscal year for which the funds are authorized and during the following fiscal year, except that grants made available from funds provided prior to fiscal year 1997 shall be available for obligation during each of the fiscal years 1997 and 1998.
The grants not obligated by the last day of the period for which the grants are available shall be reallotted according to the appropriate criteria set forth in subparagraph (D), except that the Administrator may reserve and allocate 10 percent of the remaining amount for financial assistance to Indian Tribes in addition to the amount allotted under subsection (i) and none of the funds reallotted by the Administrator shall be reallotted to any State that has not obligated all sums allotted to the State pursuant to this section during the period in which the sums were available for obligation.
The State allotment for a State not exercising primary enforcement responsibility for public water systems shall not be deposited in any such fund but shall be allotted by the Administrator under this subparagraph. Pursuant to section 300j–2(a)(9)(A) of this title such sums allotted under this subparagraph shall be reserved as needed by the Administrator to exercise primary enforcement responsibility under this subchapter in such State and the remainder shall be reallotted to States exercising primary enforcement responsibility for public water systems for deposit in such funds. Whenever the Administrator makes a final determination pursuant to section 300g–2(b) of this title that the requirements of section 300g–2(a) of this title are no longer being met by a State, additional grants for such State under this subchapter shall be immediately terminated by the Administrator. This subparagraph shall not apply to any State not exercising primary enforcement responsibility for public water systems as of August 6, 1996.
Beginning in fiscal year 1999, the Administrator shall withhold 20 percent of each capitalization grant made pursuant to this section to a State unless the State has met the requirements of section 300g–9(a) of this title (relating to capacity development) and shall withhold 10 percent for fiscal year 2001, 15 percent for fiscal year 2002, and 20 percent for fiscal year 2003 if the State has not complied with the provisions of section 300g–9(c) of this title (relating to capacity development strategies). Not more than a total of 20 percent of the capitalization grants made to a State in any fiscal year may be withheld under the preceding provisions of this clause. All funds withheld by the Administrator pursuant to this clause shall be reallotted by the Administrator on the basis of the same ratio as is applicable to funds allotted under subparagraph (D). None of the funds reallotted by the Administrator pursuant to this paragraph shall be allotted to a State unless the State has met the requirements of section 300g–9 of this title (relating to capacity development).
The Administrator shall withhold 20 percent of each capitalization grant made pursuant to this section unless the State has met the requirements of 300g–8  of this title (relating to operator certification). All funds withheld by the Administrator pursuant to this clause shall be reallotted by the Administrator on the basis of the same ratio as applicable to funds allotted under subparagraph (D). None of the funds reallotted by the Administrator pursuant to this paragraph shall be allotted to a State unless the State has met the requirements of section 300g–8 of this title (relating to operator certification).
Except as otherwise authorized by this subchapter, amounts deposited in a State loan fund, including loan repayments and interest earned on such amounts, shall be used only for providing loans or loan guarantees, or as a source of reserve and security for leveraged loans, the proceeds of which are deposited in a State loan fund established under paragraph (1), or other financial assistance authorized under this section to community water systems and nonprofit noncommunity water systems, other than systems owned by Federal agencies.
Financial assistance under this section may be used by a public water system only for expenditures (including expenditures for planning, design, siting, and associated preconstruction activities, or for replacing or rehabilitating aging treatment, storage, or distribution facilities of public water systems, but not including monitoring, operation, and maintenance expenditures) of a type or category which the Administrator has determined, through guidance, will facilitate compliance with national primary drinking water regulations applicable to the system under section 300g–1 of this title or otherwise significantly further the health protection objectives of this subchapter.
Funds may also be used by a public water system as a source of revenue (restricted solely to interest earnings of the applicable State loan fund) or security for payment of the principal and interest on revenue or general obligation bonds issued by the State to provide matching funds under subsection (e), if the proceeds of the sale of the bonds will be deposited in the State loan fund.
The funds under this section shall not be used for the acquisition of real property or interests therein, unless the acquisition is integral to a project authorized by this paragraph and the purchase is from a willing seller.
Of the amount credited to any State loan fund established under this section in any fiscal year, 15 percent shall be available solely for providing loan assistance to public water systems which regularly serve fewer than 10,000 persons to the extent such funds can be obligated for eligible projects of public water systems.
Prior to providing assistance under this section to a public water system that is in significant noncompliance with any requirement of a national primary drinking water regulation or variance, the State shall conduct a review to determine whether subparagraph (A)(i) applies to the system.
During fiscal years 2019 through 2023, funds made available from a State loan fund established pursuant to this section may not be used for a project for the construction, alteration, or repair of a public water system unless all of the iron and steel products used in the project are produced in the United States.
If the Administrator receives a request for a waiver under this paragraph, the Administrator shall make available to the public, on an informal basis, a copy of the request and information available to the Administrator concerning the request, and shall allow for informal public input on the request for at least 15 days prior to making a finding based on the request. The Administrator shall make the request and accompanying information available by electronic means, including on the official public Internet site of the Agency.
This paragraph shall be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements.
The Administrator may retain up to 0.25 percent of the funds appropriated for this section for management and oversight of the requirements of this paragraph.
The requirements of section 300j–9(e) of this title shall apply to any construction project carried out in whole or in part with assistance made available by a State loan fund.
After providing for public review and comment, each State that has entered into a capitalization agreement pursuant to this section shall annually prepare a plan that identifies the intended uses of the amounts available to the State loan fund of the State.
Each State shall, after notice and opportunity for public comment, publish and periodically update a list of projects in the State that are eligible for assistance under this section, including the priority assigned to each project and, to the extent known, the expected funding schedule for each project.
Each State loan fund under this section shall be established, maintained, and credited with repayments and interest. The fund corpus shall be available in perpetuity for providing financial assistance under this section. To the extent amounts in the fund are not required for current obligation or expenditure, such amounts shall be invested in interest bearing obligations.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, in any case in which the State makes a loan pursuant to subsection (a)(2) to a disadvantaged community or to a community that the State expects to become a disadvantaged community as the result of a proposed project, the State may provide additional subsidization (including forgiveness of principal).
In this subsection, the term “disadvantaged community” means the service area of a public water system that meets affordability criteria established after public review and comment by the State in which the public water system is located. The Administrator may publish information to assist States in establishing affordability criteria.
Each agreement under subsection (a) shall require that the State deposit in the State loan fund from State moneys an amount equal to at least 20 percent of the total amount of the grant to be made to the State on or before the date on which the grant payment is made to the State, except that a State shall not be required to deposit such amount into the fund prior to the date on which each grant payment is made for fiscal years 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 if the State deposits the State contribution amount into the State loan fund prior to September 30, 1999.
Each State administering a loan fund and assistance program under this subsection shall publish and submit to the Administrator a report every 2 years on its activities under this section, including the findings of the most recent audit of the fund and the entire State allotment. The Administrator shall periodically audit all State loan funds established by, and all other amounts allotted to, the States pursuant to this section in accordance with procedures established by the Comptroller General.
1½ percent of the amounts appropriated annually to carry out this section may be used by the Administrator to make grants to Indian Tribes, Alaska Native villages, and, for the purpose of carrying out paragraph (5), intertribal consortia or tribal organizations, that have not otherwise received either grants from the Administrator under this section or assistance from State loan funds established under this section. Except as otherwise provided, the grants may only be used for expenditures by tribes and villages for public water system expenditures referred to in subsection (a)(2).
In the case of a grant for a project under this subsection in an Alaska Native village, the Administrator is also authorized to make grants to the State of Alaska for the benefit of Native villages. An amount not to exceed 4 percent of the grant amount may be used by the State of Alaska for project management.
The Administrator, in consultation with the Director of the Indian Health Service and Indian Tribes, shall, in accordance with a schedule that is consistent with the needs surveys conducted pursuant to subsection (h), prepare surveys and assess the needs of drinking water treatment facilities to serve Indian Tribes, including an evaluation of the public water systems that pose the most significant threats to public health.
The Administrator may use funds made available under this subsection and section 300j–1(e)(7) of this title to make grants to intertribal consortia or tribal organizations for the purpose of providing operations and maintenance training and operator certification services to Indian Tribes to enable public water systems that serve Indian Tribes to achieve and maintain compliance with applicable national primary drinking water regulations.
Of the funds annually available under this section for grants to States, the Administrator shall make allotments in accordance with section 300j–2(a)(4) of this title for the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Guam. The grants allotted as provided in this subsection may be provided by the Administrator to the governments of such areas, to public water systems in such areas, or to both, to be used for the public water system expenditures referred to in subsection (a)(2). The grants, and grants for the District of Columbia, shall not be deposited in State loan funds. The total allotment of grants under this section for all areas described in this subsection in any fiscal year shall not exceed 0.33 percent of the aggregate amount made available to carry out this section in that fiscal year.
The failure or inability of any public water system to receive funds under this section or any other loan or grant program, or any delay in obtaining the funds, shall not alter the obligation of the system to comply in a timely manner with all applicable drinking water standards and requirements of this subchapter.
From funds appropriated pursuant to this section for each fiscal year, the Administrator shall reserve $10,000,000 for health effects studies on drinking water contaminants authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996. In allocating funds made available under this subsection, the Administrator shall give priority to studies concerning the health effects of cryptosporidium (as authorized by section 300j–18(c) of this title), disinfection byproducts (as authorized by section 300j–18(c) of this title), and arsenic (as authorized by section 300g–1(b)(12)(A) of this title), and the implementation of a plan for studies of subpopulations at greater risk of adverse effects (as authorized by section 300j–18(a) of this title).
Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section limiting the use of funds deposited in a State loan fund from any State allotment, the State of Virginia may, as a single demonstration and with the approval of the Virginia General Assembly and the Administrator, conduct a program to demonstrate alternative approaches to intergovernmental coordination to assist in the financing of new drinking water facilities in the following rural communities in southwestern Virginia where none exists on August 6, 1996, and where such communities are experiencing economic hardship: Lee County, Wise County, Scott County, Dickenson County, Russell County, Buchanan County, Tazewell County, and the city of Norton, Virginia. The funds allotted to that State and deposited in the State loan fund may be loaned to a regional endowment fund for the purpose set forth in this subsection under a plan to be approved by the Administrator. The plan may include an advisory group that includes representatives of such counties.
The Administrator may reserve up to 2 percent of the total funds made available to carry out this section for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2021 to carry out the provisions of section 300j–1(e) of this title (relating to technical assistance for small systems), except that the total amount of funds made available for such purpose in any fiscal year through appropriations (as authorized by section 300j–1(e) of this title) and reservations made pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed the amount authorized by section 300j–1(e) of this title.
The Administrator shall conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the State loan funds through fiscal year 2001. The evaluation shall be submitted to the Congress at the same time as the President submits to the Congress, pursuant to section 1108 of title 31, an appropriations request for fiscal year 2003 relating to the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.