Monday, October 11, 2021

DEQ Accepting Public Comment on draft Priority Rating System for Viable Utility Reserve-funded drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects

Oct 11, 2021

The Division of Water Infrastructure is accepting comments on the draft Priority Rating System for Viable Utility Reserve (VUR) wastewater and drinking water construction project funding until November 1, 2021.

Session Law 2020-79 created the VUR. Local government utilities that are designated as distressed by the State Water Infrastructure Authority (Authority) and the Local Government Commission may apply for project funding from the VUR.  Pursuant to §159G-39, the Division must rank each application for Authority review. The Authority must consider the Division's determination of priority when it reviews an application.

The Division and the State Water Infrastructure Authority use a Priority Rating System for projects seeking funding through the State Revolving Fund and State Reserve Programs. This priority rating system is being considered by the Authority for use in ranking applications to the VUR.  The Authority tasked the Division with seeking public comment on the use of this Priority Rating System for VUR-funded construction projects.

The proposed rating system prioritizes assistance to community applicants with greater socioeconomic constraints.  Under Category 4 of the proposed rating system, applicants from local governments that are smaller in size, charge higher water/wastewater rates, and/or have at least three indicators worse than state benchmarks (lower median household income, higher poverty rates, higher unemployment, lower population growth, and/or lower property valuation per capita) score higher, as they receive additional points in their applications.

Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the priority rating system by November 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.  Comments can be submitted:

  • by email to with subject line Draft VUR Priority Rating System Comments
  • by phone to 919-707-9187
  • by mail to:            

            Cathy Akroyd
            Division of Water Infrastructure
            1633 Mail Service Center
            Raleigh, NC 27699-1633

The draft VUR Priority Rating System for wastewater and drinking water projects is available at:

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