Puerto Rico, USVI will receive $108 million to upgrade water systems

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%.

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