NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 30, 2009 -- In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water and wastewater infrastructure and protect human health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $4,061,700 to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The money will help the U.S. Virgin Islands finance overdue improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment across the territory. The funds will go to the territory's Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds programs.
"EPA is committed to helping restore America's economy through projects that not only create jobs, but also make a demonstrable difference for the environment and public health," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. "This funding will help the U.S. Virgin Islands upgrade its drinking water and wastewater treatment systems, both of which are imperative for healthy communities."
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, administrated by the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (VIDPNR), will receive $1,999,000. The program provides low-interest loans for drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements and emphasizes providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water. VIDPNR will also receive a $100,000 Water Quality Management Planning grant, which supports setting water quality standards, water monitoring efforts, developing plans to restore polluted waters and identifying ways to protect healthy waters from becoming polluted.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, administrated by the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works, will receive $1,962,700. The 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 $6 billion 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 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 http://www.recovery.gov.
For more information on EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in the Virgin Islands, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/eparecovery/.
For more information on the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, visit http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/.
For information on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program visit http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf/.