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Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks at the New York State Water Grants Announcement, As Prepared

04/03/2009
As prepared for delivery.

I’m proud to announce today that EPA is awarding more than $432 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment funds to the state of New York.

This stimulus funding – which marks the largest grant award in EPA’s 39 year history – will be used by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other state agencies to support critical water infrastructure projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.

I share everyone’s excitement about how these investments will help local communities.

I’m also excited about what this symbolizes to the nation.

First and foremost, we’re sending a clear message that EPA is back on the job.

We have a renewed mission to remove toxic chemicals and pollution from the air we breathe and the water we drink; to protect human health in every single community; and to engage individuals, businesses, state and local governments and all other stakeholders in that work.

Second, we’re demonstrating that EPA is part of the solution in this economic downturn.

Protecting human health and the environment is a great way to put people to work and stimulate our economy.

President Obama and the Congress made clear in the Recovery Act that Americans don’t have to choose between a green economy and a green environment.

Our environmental future and our economic future are inextricably linked. And today is a great example of how we combine the creation of new, green jobs with environmental preservation and human health protection.

This $432 million grant will boost local economies with development and employment.

And by making much needed updates to outdated water infrastructure, it will make the water that millions of New Yorkers use every single day cleaner, safer and healthier.

They can rest assured that wastewater is being handled properly, that local estuaries and watersheds are preserved and protected, and that water supplies are guarded against pollution and toxic chemicals.

Across the country, EPA will be awarding more than $7 billion in stimulus funds for core projects that meet both our economic and environmental needs.

Those investments will also supplement programs like the Green Innovation Grants Program here in New York, helping to advance the development of cleaner, more efficient technologies.

We’re pleased to be working with our local and state partners to get these stimulus investments out quickly – and with the highest level of transparency and fiscal discipline.

We have a long way to go in building our green economy, creating new jobs, and safeguarding human health and the environment in every community.

I look forward to working with all of you in the years ahead. Thank you very much.