ATLANTA, GA, May 27, 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 Mississippi, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $19.5 million to the Mississippi Department of Health. 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.
"This award marks a significant investment of EPA funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Mississippi," said Stan Meiburg, Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. "With this investment, we are embarking on an unprecedented effort to create green jobs and protect human health and the environment."
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 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 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 on Feb. 17, 2009 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.
>> See how every dollar is being invested
>> Information on EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Region 4
>> Information on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program