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Alaska Receives $236,900  in Economic Recovery Funds to Improve Water Quality, Create Jobs

Release Date: 08/11/2009
Contact Information: Paula Vanhaagen, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-6977, vanhaagen.paula@epa.gov Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-369-7999, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

U.S. EPA: Funds keep and create jobs to help prevent water pollution and protect human health and the environment

(Seattle, Wash.- August 11, 2009) In an effort to improve water quality and create jobs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $236,900 to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A total of $39 million will be awarded nationally to states for Water Quality Management Planning (WQMP) grants, which will keep and create jobs to help prevent water pollution and protect human health and the environment.

"The Recovery Act investments are meeting urgent needs for economic growth and protecting human health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Communities across the nation can count on green jobs to help pull them out of this downturn and ensure the long-term strength of our economy and our environment.”

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 like 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.

"Protecting watershed health in Alaska begins with thoughtful, comprehensive planning," said Michelle Pirzadeh, acting EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle. "Protecting watersheds ultimately helps support healthy communities and strong local economies. This Recovery Act funding will mean this critically-important work will get done despite unparalleled budget challenges for our state partners."

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

For Information on EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, visit:
http://www.epa.gov/region10/eparecovery/