SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive a total of about $108 million to improve drinking water infrastructure in the U.S. territories.
Puerto Rico is slated to receive $62 million, and the US Virgin Islands about $46 million.
The money is part of efforts by the administration of US President Joe Biden to improve drinking water systems and remove lead pipes.
Federal officials said Congress appropriated an additional $6 billion for water projects in US states and territories as part of the $550 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which Biden signed into law in November 2021.
Officials said the money would target disadvantaged communities. Puerto Rico, an island of 3.2 million people, has a poverty rate of 46%. The US Virgin Islands, a three-island territory of 87,000 people, has a poverty rate of about 20%.