Drinking water, wastewater project funding in MA announced

BOSTON, MA, Feb. 18, 2010 -- The Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust has successfully committed and certified its $185 million allotment of federal stimulus funding to 115 local drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects...

BOSTON, MA, Feb. 18, 2010 -- Today State Treasurer Tim Cahill, who chairs the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, announced that the Trust has successfully committed and certified its $185 million allotment of federal stimulus funding to 115 local drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The projects will reduce water pollution statewide through construction and upgrading of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, including pipes, storage, and treatment facilities.

"The reduction of water pollution will not only benefit the local communities by providing clean drinking water," said Treasurer Cahill, "The availability of the federal stimulus funds has allowed us to implement strategies to reduce the enormous energy costs to municipalities of wastewater treatment facilities and simultaneously, create and protect construction and engineering jobs in the Commonwealth."

In total, the Trust is providing $770.3 million in new, low-cost, loans to 77 Massachusetts cities, towns, and other municipal entities. The loans will finance improvements to the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Federal stimulus funding is being used to provide principal forgiveness ranging from 11.7% to 100% on each of the loans.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) requires that a minimum of 20% of the stimulus funds be utilized to fund "green infrastructure" projects. The Trust has exceeded this goal by providing $66.9 million of its federal stimulus funding to finance the full cost of "green infrastructure" investments. These investments make water treatment facilities, which are huge energy users, more cost effective and environmentally beneficial by exploring the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The Water Pollution Abatement Trust is a joint effort of the State Treasurer's Office, the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

The Trust receives state and federal grants, but raises most of its funding though the sale of AAA-rated bonds. Since 1993, the Trust has financed $4.6 billion of water infrastructure improvements in the Commonwealth, serving 97% of Massachusetts residents. "Through prudent policies and financial management, the Trust has become a national leader in providing funding to communities, while maintaining the highest credit ratings," said Treasurer Cahill.

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