$20 million in stimulus funds go towards water and air quality projects

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced that Vermont will receive more than $20 million in economic recovery funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency to create jobs through water infrastructure and air quality projects. These stimulus funds will put local contractors and engineers to work as we plan and build out the projects, the Governor said. There is a tremendous need for these economic recovery funds. We ve identified $380 million in drinking and clean water projects in Vermont.More than $1.7 million will go to clean diesel projects, said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA in New England. Reducing emissions from diesel engines is one of the most important air quality challenges facing the country today, Leighton said. New England has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation.Another $19.5 million is pledged to improve aging water infrastructure and protect human health and the environment for Vermonters. This grant of Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to the state of Vermont represents one of the first stimulus grants for water infrastructure made in the country, Leighton said. This much-needed injection of funding will go a long way toward improving Vermont s water quality across the state, said the Governor. The quality of our drinking water, and the water that flows down our rivers into lakes, depends upon the drinking water plants and the wastewater treatment facilities that will directly benefit from this additional funding.  About the grantsThe funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will go to the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program provides low-interest loans for drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The program also emphasizes providing funds to small or disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water. An unprecedented $2 billion dollars will be awarded to fund drinking water infrastructure projects across the country under the Recovery Act in the form of low-interest loans, principal forgiveness and grants. At least 20 percent of the funds provided under the Recovery Act are to be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally innovative projects.Under ARRA s State clean diesel funding program, $88.2 million is divided equally through a noncompetitive allocation process, meaning that all 50 states and the District of Columbia will receive $1.73 million.States, local governments, non-profits and tribal agencies can also compete for a portion of $206 million under ARRA s National clean diesel funding program.President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.last_img

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