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EPA announces more than $27 million in Recovery Act funds for Water Infrastructure projects in Colorado to boost economy, create jobs and protect public health

Release Date: 07/14/2009
Contact Information: Karin Tatum, 303-312-7823; Richard Mylott, 303-312-6654

(Denver, Colo. – July 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 Colorado, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $ 27,481,600 to the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority. This new infusion of money provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will 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 pleased to provide more than $27 million in Recovery Act funds for much needed improvements to Colorado’s water infrastructure that will benefit the state for decades to come,” said Carol Rushin, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator in Denver. “This funding will protect public health and improve water quality while creating hundreds of jobs in Colorado.”

The Recovery Act funds 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. EPA expects to provide this portion, nearly $7 million, to Colorado within the next few weeks, bringing the total amount awarded for drinking water infrastructure projects in the state to $34,352,000.

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.

EPA is also awarding $317,100 in Recovery Act funds for Water Quality Management Planning (WQMP) in Colorado. Planning is an important step in EPA’s goal to improve water quality in America’s lakes, rivers and streams. WQMP grants support a broad range of activities, such as setting standards, monitoring the quality of the water, developing plans to restore polluted waters, and identifying ways to protect healthy waters from becoming polluted. States are also encouraged to use these funds for more innovative planning activities, such as developing plans to adapt to climate change, analyzing trends in water availability and use, and creating low-impact development programs. Grants are awarded to state agencies and some of the funds can be awarded to regional and interstate planning organizations.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) 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.

Information on EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, visit http://www.epa.gov/recovery

Information on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program visit http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf/