The Green Project Reserve, or GPR, requires all Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) programs to direct a portion of their capitalization grant toward projects that address green infrastructure, water efficiency, energy efficiency, or other environmentally innovative activities. Innovative environmental activities are those that demonstrate new and/or innovative approaches to managing water resources to prevent or remove water pollution in an economically and environmentally sustainable way, such as: decentralized wastewater treatment solutions, projects that facilitate adaptation of clean water facilities to climate change, and projects that identify and quantify the benefits of using integrated water resources management approaches, to name a few.
While these types of projects have always been eligible for CWSRF financing, the GPR originated with the American Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), when it was signed into law on February 17, 2009. ARRA appropriated $4 billion to the CWSRF and included several new features for CWSRF programs, including the GPR, which specified that each state allocate 20% of its ARRA funding to these types of projects.
With the success of the GPR implemented under ARRA—approximately 30% of total ARRA funding for CWSRF projects went to GPR projects—the Green Project Reserve has been included in the FY 2010, FY 2011, and FY 2012 CWSRF appropriations. For FY 2010 and FY 2011, each state was directed to allocate 20% of its CWSRF capitalization grant to eligible GPR projects. For FY 2012, the GPR amount was reduced to 10% of each state's capitalization grant. The CWSRF program, through GPR, is helping achieve innovative solutions to wastewater infrastructure needs, achieving economic and environmental benefits that will continue to accrue for years in the future.