JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced $450 million was made available for drinking water, wastewater and storm water projects in Mississippi cities and counties.

The agency released regulations and other information that will aid eligible cities, counties and certain other public utilities in applying for the Mississippi Municipality and County Water Infrastructure (MCWI) grant program.

The MCWI grant program, pursuant to SB 2822, makes $450 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding available for the projects. It also emphasizes assistance to economically disadvantaged communities, as well as projects promoting regional development.

These MCWI grant funds are available as matching funds for local ARPA fiscal recovery funds.

“We have been working diligently on this ARPA funding process and hope the regulations and information we have released online will give cities and counties advance notice of what they need to prepare for the online application portal when it opens later this year,” said Chris Wells, executive director of MDEQ.

The MCWI Regulations and other information on the MDEQ-administered ARPA funds can be found on the MDEQ website, www.mdeq.ms.gov, and directly at http://mswaterinfrastructure.com/.

MDEQ will also be hosting informational webinars and in-person meetings. Dates and times for those events will be posted online once finalized.