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EPA Announces $19.5 Million in Stimulus Funds for Water Infrastructure Projects in Vermont - Will Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Public Health

Release Date: 04/14/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. - April 14, 2009) – In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water infrastructure and protect human health and the environment for the people of Vermont, the U.S. EPA has awarded $19.5 million to the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation to help the 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 committed to being part of the solution in this economic downturn. By keeping water clean, safe, and healthy, we’re bringing new jobs and new opportunities to local communities,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Protecting human health and the environment is a great way to put people to work and stimulate our economy.”

The 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 and 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.

“This Recovery Act funding will be a real boost for Vermont to begin updating aging water infrastructure,” said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. “This funding will provide real dividends for healthy communities, clean drinking water and good-paying jobs.”

Since the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program began in 1997, EPA has awarded more than $8 billion in grants, which states have turned into $15 billion of financial assistance to fund drinking water projects. The revolving nature of the program ensures drinking water projects will be funded for generations to come.

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 in New England (www.epa.gov/ne/eparecovery/watersrf.html)

- EPA’s
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program (www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf/)