MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Environmental Management says more than 400 water and sewer systems have applied for grants funded by pandemic relief money.

Alabama lawmakers this winter approved using $225 million out of the state’s share of American Rescue Plan funding to fund water and sewer projects.

ADEM Director Lance LeFleur says it’s a historic opportunity to address high-need projects in the state. State Rep. Kelvin Lawrence of Hayneville says the funding could be life-changing for many people in his Black Belt district.