CHICAGO, IL, May 27, 2009 -- In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and protect human health and the environment for people in the State of Minnesota, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $107 million to the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority. 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.
"EPA is pleased to provide more than $107 million in Recovery Act funds for much needed improvements to Minnesota's aging drinking water and waste water infrastructure, including sewer systems," said Bharat Mathur, Acting Regional Administrator. "This money will protect human health and improve water quality while helping to create good jobs in the state."
The Recovery Act funds will go to the state's Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds programs.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program will receive $72,031,000. It provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed management. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program will receive $35,110,000. It 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 $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 February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.