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EPA announces more than $20 million in Recovery Act funds for Water Infrastructure projects in Utah to boost economy, create jobs and protect public health

Release Date: 07/14/2009
Contact Information: 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 in Utah, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $20,649,900 to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. 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 wastewater projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state.

“EPA is pleased to provide more than $20 million in Recovery Act funds for much needed improvements to Utah’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 Utah.”

The Recovery Act funds will go to the State's Clean Water State Revolving Fund program. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program provides low interest loans for water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. An unprecedented $4 billion dollars will be awarded to fund 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.

Since the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program began in 1987, EPA has awarded more than $26 billion in grants, which states have turned into $69 billion of financial assistance for water quality projects. The revolving nature of the program ensures water quality projects will be funded for generations to come.

EPA is also awarding $208,700 in Recovery Act funds for Water Quality Management Planning (WQMP) in Utah. 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 Clean Water State Revolving Fund program visit http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/