WaterWorks: EPA Recovery Act funds awarded, Carolina water war, WEF-AWS partnership

May 2009 Vol. 64 No. 5

EPA awards first Recovery Act water funds

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the first of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grants under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. Clean Water State Revolving Fund grants have been made to the states of New York, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Nebraska. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grants have been awarded to the states of Kansas and Nebraska.

This new infusion of money will help state and local governments finance many of the overdue improvements to water and wastewater projects including innovative green projects that save energy, water and further reduce the impact on the environment. 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. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program provides low-interest loans for drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The drinking water 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 Feb. 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.

Plattsburg gets go-ahead to improve water system

Plattsburg, MO, city officials received permission from residents to proceed with a major improvement to the city’s water system as reported in the St. Joseph News-Press.

A $6.2 million bond issued for the project passed by an unofficial margin of 224 to 88 in the municipal election. The vote gives the city leverage toward securing federal stimulus funds designed specifically for water systems.

It’s now up to agencies such as the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program to begin steering Plattsburg’s water improvements into reality. The Missouri Water/Wastewater Review Committee also will play a role.