CA awarded $174M by EPA to reduce water pollution, improve drinking water

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FRESNO, CA, Nov. 21, 2013 -- The state of California will be awarded $174 million in federal funding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to invest in major water infrastructure projects.

The California Department of Public Health received a $79 million grant for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF), and the California State Water Resources Control Board received a $95 million grant for its Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The funding will be used for projects to control water pollution and provide low-cost loans for both drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades statewide.

"In the last 26 years, EPA has provided more than $4 billion in funding for California water projects alone," said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator of EPA's Pacific Southwest Region. "Without this investment at the federal level, many communities would not be able to satisfy Californians' basic needs for clean and safe drinking water."

Projects previously supported by the SRF include a $34 million loan to Los Angeles County for the construction of a new pumping plant and renovating aging water mains and an $11 million loan to the city of Lathrop to construct an arsenic treatment facility, improve wells and lay down new water mains for over 16,000 residents.

The funds are used for a wide variety of water quality projects, including nonpoint source pollution control, watershed protection or restoration, water and energy efficiency projects, wastewater reclamation, drinking water infrastructure improvements, technical assistance, and traditional municipal wastewater treatment projects.

The EPA's Pacific Southwest Region administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations -- home to more than 48 million people. The EPA is also a significant source of funding. In 2013, more than 85 percent of the $631 million regional operating budget flowed to state and tribal agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations and private-sector companies in the form of grants and contracts. This funding pays for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, air pollution reduction programs, Superfund site cleanups and many other activities that protect human health and natural resources.

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