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EPA Announces More Than $185 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Massachusetts Water Infrastructure Projects

Release Date: 06/15/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – June 15, 2009) – EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today held a joint press conference with Massachusetts Public Officials to announce more than $185 million in Recovery Act funding to improve drinking water quality and waste water infrastructure across the state.

The influx of Recovery Act funds will help create jobs and boost local economies, while jump-starting efforts to improve aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure – work that will protect human health and the environment and provide a foundation for continued economic growth in Massachusetts. The money is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help state and local governments finance many of the overdue improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state.

“EPA is part of the solution in these challenging times. Massachusetts has been a leader in creating green jobs that grow the economy and benefit the environment, and today's grants build on that work,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Keeping the water supply clean and safe for millions of people will bring new jobs and opportunities to Massachusetts communities. Protecting our health and the environment is a great way to put people to work and build a new foundation for prosperity.”

The Recovery Act funds will go to the state's Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds programs.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program will receive $133,057,300. It provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program will receive $52,216,000. It provides low-interest loans for drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The program also emphasizes providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.

“We’re extraordinarily grateful to President Obama and Administrator Jackson for this investment in improving water quality in our Commonwealth. Cities and towns across Massachusetts face soaring costs to protect their water, and they can’t make these investments on their own. The state will be able to leverage these funds to complete needed projects from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, put people to work, and prevent spikes in local water rates at a time when family and city budgets are already stretched thin. These funds will make an enormous difference,” said U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

“This investment will give cities and towns across Massachusetts an economic boost while helping us maintain our excellent track record of ensuring clean, safe drinking water,” said Senator John F. Kerry. “The MWRA's work to reduce energy consumption through solar and wind power is another example of stimulus funds working for Massachusetts by putting people to work and protecting our environment.”

“These projects are vital to the health and vitality of communities here in Massachusetts and across the country,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Federal funds will help write down the total cost of the capital projects for cities and towns, create jobs and, with the energy investments they also make possible, reduce the cost of operating the new treatment plants. Massachusetts spearheaded this approach, and the Recovery Act has taken this program nationwide.”

"These funds will be used by the MWRA and communities across Massachusetts so that they may make improvements to wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, reducing water pollution and improving the environment," said U.S. Congressman Michael E. Capuano.

"The health of our water supplies and coastal waters is critical to the health of our economy in Massachusetts," said U.S. Congressman Bill Delahunt. "I want to thank President Obama and EPA Administrator Jackson for their strong support of our efforts to protect our environment and our economy."

An unprecedented $6 billion dollars will be awarded to fund water and wastewater 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.

Today’s event was at the Deer Island Treatment Plant, which is the primary facility that treats wastewater for metropolitan Boston. The Plant services 43 communities in metropolitan Boston, comprising approximately 2.3 million people. The plant is also one of the largest energy users in the state. As part of upgrades being made at the plant using Recovery Act funds, the plant is installing roof-mounted photovoltaic cells on their Maintenance/Warehouse building, helping to increase the amount of self-generated energy supplying the plant.

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. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.

More Information:

- EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (www.epa.gov/recovery)
- EPA implementation of Recovery Act environmental work in New England (epa.gov/ne/eparecovery/index.html)

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