DALLAS, TX, Apr. 22, 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 Oklahoma, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded over $31.6 million to Oklahoma Water Resources Board. 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 wastewater projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state.
"These Recovery Act dollars will help provide long-term economic and environmental benefits for Oklahoma," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Lawrence E. Starfield. "By making an investment in these cost-effective and green projects, we are creating jobs today and assuring good water quality for this generation and the next."
The Recovery Act funds will go to the state's Clean Water State Revolving Fund program. 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. An unprecedented $4 billion dollars will be awarded to fund wastewater infrastructure projects across the country under the Recovery Act in the form of low interest loans, principal forgiveness and grants. At least 20% 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 Clean Water State Revolving Fund program began in 1987, EPA has awarded more than $26 billion in grants, which states have turned into $69 billion of financial assistance for water quality projects. The revolving nature of the program ensures water quality projects will be funded for generations to come.
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) 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 Recovery.gov.