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Nearly $46 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Water Infrastructure Projects in Rhode Island Will Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Public Health

Release Date: 04/23/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Providence, R.I. – April 23, 2009) - In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water and wastewater infrastructure and protect human health and the environment for Rhode Islanders, EPA has awarded nearly $46 million to two Rhode Island agencies charged with maintaining clean water treatment plants.

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

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

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program will receive $26,314,600. 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 $19.5 million. 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.

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.

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.

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