Water projects in Guam, CNMI, American Samoa get funding boost

HONOLULU, HI, Feb. 23, 2010 -- The U.S. EPA announced a historic increase of over $34.2 million in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure funding to Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa...

• EPA funding to Pacific territories jumps from $3.2 million to $37.4 million

HONOLULU, HI, Feb. 23, 2010 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today a historic increase of over $34.2 million in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure funding to Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

"This major increase in funding will allow Guam, American Samoa and CNMI to work on badly needed wastewater and drinking water infrastructure improvements," said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "This is the first time that the U.S. territories will receive funding comparable to states on the mainland for these vital public health efforts."

As part of EPA's budget for this year, the EPA Administrator for the first time has the discretion to set aside 1.5 percent of the total funding allotted to the national EPA State Revolving Fund for Clean Water and Drinking Water to be available to U.S. territories. This year Guam and American Samoa will each receive $13.1 million and CNMI will receive $11.27 million.

Below are the amounts the Pacific territories will be getting compared to what they received last year:

For wastewater infrastructure:

* Guam - $8 million; previous: $446,500
* CNMI - $5.17 million; previous: $286,800
* American Samoa - $11.1 million; previous: $617,000

For drinking water infrastructure:

* Guam - $5.1 million; previous: $887,000
* CNMI - $6.1 million; previous: $764,000
* American Samoa - $2 million; previous: $202,000

"This funding will go to drinking water and water quality protection projects such as wastewater treatment, protection of drinking water sources, and improvements to water storage and distribution facilities," said John McCarroll, manager for the Pacific Islands Office for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "These improvements will have a real impact on public health and the quality of drinking water and surface water for island residents."

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