EPA Brings on New Adviser to Guide Water Infrastructure Spending

The EPA’s water office has hired a top staffer at a Texas-based grantmaking foundation to help guide the deployment of some $55 billion in investments provided by the recent infrastructure law, according to Emily Warren Armitano, the incoming adviser.

In her new role as senior adviser to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, Warren Armitano said in an interview she will help the EPA work with philanthropies across the nation to deploy the money for projects like lead service line replacement and drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.

Philanthropies are in a good position to do that work “because of the relationships they have with communities and other nonprofits that work with communities,” Warren Armitano said. “They have trust and can identify those communities that need the money the most.”

Philanthropic groups can be especially helpful to small communities that don’t have the staffing or experience to navigate complex government funding opportunities, she said.

“It takes a lot of support and expertise to finance and manage money and projects,” Warren Armitano said. “Think about coming up with all that in a community that is underserved and low income and maybe has one person—maybe the mayor—that’s doing all of those jobs. So how can we do that wraparound support?”

Warren Armitano is currently director of land conservation and water programs at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. She previously served as associate director at Texas State University’s Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, policy coordinator at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and program and management consultant at the United Nations Development Program.

The EPA didn’t respond to a request for comment.


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