159G-34. Loans and grants available from Drinking Water Reserve.

(a) Types. - The Department is authorized to make the types of loans and grants listed in this section from the Drinking Water Reserve. Each type of loan or grant must be administered through a separate account within the Drinking Water Reserve.

(1) Loan. - A loan is available for a project for a public water system.

(2) Project grant. - A project grant is available for a portion of the construction costs of a public water system project as defined in G.S. 159G-32(c).

(3) Merger/regionalization feasibility grant. - A merger/regionalization grant is available to determine the feasibility of consolidating the management of multiple utilities into a single utility operation or to provide regional water supply and the best way of carrying out the consolidation or regionalization. The Department shall not make a loan or grant under this subdivision for a merger or regionalization proposal that would result in a new surface water transfer regulated under G.S. 143-215.22L.

(3a) Asset inventory and assessment grant. - An asset inventory and assessment grant is available to inventory the existing water and/or sewer system and document the condition of the inventoried infrastructure.

(4) Emergency loan. - An emergency loan is available to an applicant in the event the Secretary certifies that either a serious public health hazard or a drought emergency related to the water supply system is present or imminent in a community.

(5) Emergency grant for operating deficit. - An emergency grant for operating deficits is available for certain public water systems as set forth in G.S. 159G-25.5.

(b) Interaccount Transfer. - The Secretary may use revenue in any account in the Drinking Water Reserve to provide funds for an emergency loan. (2005-454, s. 3; 2015-241, s. 14.13(f), (g); 2019-226, s. 3.)