This post is part of the Water Finance Exchange 2022 Partner Spotlight Series, where we highlight the work of organizations that contribute valuable work and ideas to the water policy and infrastructure financing sector. This post was created after speaking with Tim Male, Executive Director of the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) and Katy Hansen, Deputy Director of Water at EPIC. An audio interview between Tim Male, Katy Hansen, and Brent Fewell, Co-Founder of the Water Finance Exchange can be found below.
The Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) was founded in 2017 by Tim Male in order to bring speed, agility, and innovation to the environmental policy sector. There are more than 30,000 conservation organizations in the United States, but the sector hasn’t seen significant improvement and innovation since the 1970s. Tim Male believes non-governmental organizations have an opportunity to bring creative solutions to the environmental sector that are too uncertain, risky, or politically untenable for government to implement on its own.
Katy Hansen wants to use this data-driven innovation to bring equity to the water sector. Impaired water quality and disinvestment tends to follow communities that are already marginalized, generating a cycle of inequity that is increasingly hard to break. Funding opportunities such as State Revolving Funds (SRFs) are often provided to wealthy communities that are predominantly white, despite a greater need elsewhere. That fact is increasingly important as additional funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and other federal sources is made available.