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EPA Announces $27 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Water Infrastructure Projects in Louisiana to Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Public Health

Release Date: 07/14/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – 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 the State of Louisiana, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded over $27 million to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. 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.

“Investing in the economy and the environment is a win-win,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Lawrence E. Starfield. “These funds will not only help our economic recovery, but they will help provide safe, clean drinking water for communities throughout Louisiana.”

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% 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 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 (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 in Louisiana, visit http://www.epa.gov/region6/

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

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