DPH: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

On February 17, 2009 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law.  The Department of Public Health (DPH) will receive approximately $19.5 million under Title VII: State and Tribal Assistance Grants of the ARRA to provide financial assistance in the form of subsidized loans for “shovel ready” public drinking water infrastructure projects. Approximately $17.2 million of these funds will be made available to Public Water Systems (PWS) that meet existing Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) eligibility requirements.  The DPH accepted eligibility applications for ARRA funding through April 7, 2009.

By the close of business on April 7, 2009 the DPH Drinking Water Section (DWS) received a total of 165 eligibility applications for approximately $320 million in drinking water infrastructure projects.

Priority for Projects Ready to Proceed to Construction in 12 months and Preference for Expeditious Projects

The ARRA requires that priority be given to projects that will be ready to proceed to actual construction within 12 months of the February 17, 2009 date of enactment. ARRA Section 1602 also requires that preference shall be given to activities that can be started and completed expeditiously, including a goal of using at least 50% of the funds for activities that can be initiated not later than 120 days after enactment of the ARRA.

The DWS completed a systematic review of all ARRA eligibility applications consistent with the DPH’s ARRA Intended Use Plan (pdf). Projects eligible to receive financial assistance through ARRA were ranked and prioritized using criteria established for DPH’s base DWSRF Program in combination with construction readiness and green project goals established under the ARRA. The key criteria used in the ranking process were:

  1. Construction readiness
  2. Meeting green project goals
  3. Enhancing public health protection
  4. Achieving compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act
  5. Addressing economic need and infrastructure sustainability.     

Accordingly, the top 34 projects appearing on the ARRA Project Priority List (pdf) include those projects that were fully designed, had local funding resolutions in place and were purported by the water system applicants to be ready to initiate construction prior to June 17, 2009. These 34 projects were then ranked according to the priority ranking points awarded to the project using the priority point criteria (pdf) from the base DWSRF program. The remaining 131 projects that were not at this stage of readiness were ranked based on the estimated construction start date reported by the water system applicants. The top 11 projects on this comprehensive project list are proposed to receive ARRA funds. Projects that are not proposed to receive ARRA funds are eligible to receive low interest loans without subsidization from the base DWSRF Program. A separate project priority list for the base DWSRF Program will be developed at a later date.

A public hearing (pdf) on the ARRA Intended Use Plan and Draft ARRA Project Priority List was held in Hartford on June 1, 2009 and a hearing report (pdf) has been prepared.  Testimony provided at the hearing was reviewed and considered in preparing the final ARRA Project Priority List.  

Click here for a map of the submitted projects


Financial Assistance Applications and Forms

Applicant’s appearing on the ARRA Project Priority List that are proposed to receive ARRA funds (top 11 projects) must complete the forms and checklists listed below and submit a complete application package to the DWS by July 27, 2009.

After the open competitive bidding process has closed, an applicant must submit the post-bid construction checklist shown below along with supporting documentation to the DWS and receive a written authorization to award the construction contract from the DPH prior to contract execution.

Other important information and requirements that will apply to projects funded under the ARRA are described in the following sections.


Construction Loans Only

Due to emphasis within the ARRA for funds to be committed to “shovel-ready” construction projects, financial assistance will only be offered for the construction portion of a project subject to the availability of funds. Design and planning elements of projects will not be eligible for financial assistance with ARRA funds. However, these costs may be eligible for reimbursement under the base DWSRF Program in the form of a low interest loan.


Green Project Reserve (GPR)

The ARRA requires that, to the extent there are sufficient eligible project applications, not less than 20% of the funds shall be used for projects to address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements or other environmentally innovative activities. Projects may qualify in whole or in part, however only the portions of a project that contributes towards these goals can be counted towards the overall 20% GPR requirement. ARRA applicants are encouraged to complete the Green Project Information Form (doc) so that the DPH can determine if the project qualifies towards meeting this goal. This form is not required for projects to be eligible for financial assistance from the ARRA, however it must be submitted in order for a project to qualify towards the 20% GPR goal. EPA guidelines on the use of the GPR are included within the form. Additional EPA guidelines have recently been released and are contained in the Green Project Information Form Supplement (pdf).


Buy American

Under Section 1605 of the ARRA, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the ARRA may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published “Requirements for Implementing Sections 1512, 1605, and 1606 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for Financial Assistance Awards” (pdf)  in the Federal Register on April 23, 2009.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted three nationwide waivers of the Buy American requirements for projects in certain situations.  These waivers have been granted under the authority of ARRA Section 1605(b)(1) (public interest waiver) for eligible projects under the following circumstances:

  1. For projects incurring debt on or after October 1, 2008 and before February 17, 2009.  Click here to view this waiver (pdf)
  2. For projects that solicited bids on or after October 1, 2008 and prior to February 17, 2009. Click here to view this waiver (pdf)
  3. For de minimis incidental components of projects. Click here to view this waiver (pdf)
  4. REVISED for de minimis incidental components of projects. Click here to view this waiver (pdf)

Each project must have satisfactory supporting documentation to qualify for any one of the waivers listed above.  This information must be submitted to the DWS for review and concurrence in order to remain eligible for ARRA funds.

A project specific waiver may be granted by the EPA when compliance with the Buy American provision would be inconsistent with United States obligations under international agreements or under the following circumstances:

  1. The requirement is inconsistent with the public interest for purposes of the project for which a waiver has been requested,
  2. Iron, steel, and necessary manufactured goods are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality, or
  3. Inclusion of iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States will increase the overall cost of the project by more than 25 percent.

Recipients of ARRA funds that anticipate the need for a waiver should review the guidelines  (pdf) the DWS has prepared to assist public water systems with waiver requests to the EPA. If a waiver is granted by the Administrator, EPA will publish such waiver, with a sufficient explanation, in the Federal Register.


Davis Bacon Act Wage Requirements

Notwithstanding any other provision of law and in a manner consistent with other provisions in the ARRA, all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to this ARRA shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code. With respect to the labor standards specified in this section, the Secretary of Labor shall have the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1267). For more information please visit www.gpo.gov/davisbacon/.


Refinancing

Funds appropriated under the ARRA may not be used to provide assistance for the purpose of purchasing or refinancing municipal debt or restructuring outstanding DWSRF loans unless the initial debt was incurred on or after October 1, 2008.


Reporting and Job Creation/Retention

Section 1512 of the ARRA requires the DPH DWS to report detailed information on the projects and activities funded by the Recovery Act. To ensure that this requirement is met, recipients of ARRA funding must provide the DWS additional information about their project on a continuous basis. The following forms must be completed with comprehensive project data and faxed to the DWS within the appropriate timeframe. Please note that you will have to obtain information from contractors you are employing with ARRA monies to complete the jobs created/ jobs retained information for your ARRA project. 

In addition, the Connecticut Department of Public Works (DPW) is requiring, per Governor’s Executive Order Number 25, completion of the ‘ARRA Infrastructure Project Certificate of Compliance’ form. This form is required to be signed by the State Agency head or designee, licensed design professional and general contractor during two phases of the ARRA project. Print two copies of this form. Part 1 of both forms must be completed and signed by the design consultant and returned to this office for DPH signature by the date noted to each recipient. DPH will submit one original copy to DPW and one original copy will be returned to the ARRA recipient to retain at the project site. Upon completion of construction, Part 2 signatures of the design consultant and the general contractor must be obtained on the retained copy and the completed ‘ARRA Infrastructure Project Certificate of Compliance’ form sent to DPH. DPH will sign the document and submit to DPW. A copy of the fully executed form will be sent to each ARRA recipient for their records.  

Form Submission Timeframe
FFY 2009 DPW ARRA Reporting Form (pdf) No later than 24 hours after the execution of a construction contract  

ARRA Infrastructure Project Certificate of Compliance (pdf)

Part 1- mailed to DPH by date noted to each recipient

Part 2 of retained copy - mailed upon completion of construction  

FFY 2009 ARRA Tracking and Reporting Information Form (pdf) 

Instructions (pdf)

Within five (5) business days of actual start of construction and re-submitted as needed when information changes.  
REVISED FFY 2009 ARRA Quarterly Reporting Information Form (pdf) Quarterly (no later than the last day of the quarter:  Sept 30th, Dec 31st, Mar 31st, Jun 30th)  

If after reviewing the forms and instructions you still have questions, please contact Rachel Nowek at Rachel.nowek@ct.gov or (860) 509-7333


Contact Information

For assistance please contact the Drinking Water Section's Capacity Development Unit at (860) 509-7333. Helpful informational links are provided below.


Project Sign

A project sign shall be erected at the site of any construction project receiving ARRA funding through the DWSRF Program. The project sign shall be erected prior to the start of any construction work. Please refer to the Project Sign Requirements and the White House Office of Management & Budget’s (OMB) ARRA General Guidelines for Emblem and Logo Applications provided below.


ARRA Links:  





Content Last Modified on 3/16/2010 8:21:58 AM