Water infrastructure projects in Maine get $19.6M in funding
This funding will pay for projects that improve water quality and protect drinking water in the state.
OSTON, JULY 19, 2017 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $19.6 million to the State of Maine to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be primarily used to upgrade sewage plants and drinking water systems, as well as replacing aging infrastructure, throughout the state.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program, administrated by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Maine Municipal Bond Bank (MMBB), received $10.8 million. EPA's funding provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from stormwater runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program, administrated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and MMBB, received $8.8 million. EPA's funding provides low-interest loans to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.
"This funding will pay for projects that improve water quality and protect drinking water across Maine, and will provide benefits for decades to come," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Clean drinking water and proper wastewater treatment are fundamental to protecting people's health, but aging water infrastructure needs to be upgraded and repaired. EPA's funding will help continue Maine's program to invest in drinking water and wastewater systems and protect people's health."
"Protection and improvement of Maine's waters is a continual process that takes a collaborative effort between federal, state and municipal governments, funding agencies, and most important the public," said Avery Day, Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. "This funding is important to help the State assist communities with affordable funding for projects that protect or improve public health and the environment, while at the same time providing sustainability and growth for our communities."
"We are very grateful for this state-federal partnership that provides the financial cornerstone to maintaining drinking water and clean water infrastructure in Maine," said Michael R. Goodwin, Executive Director, Maine Municipal Bond Bank. "This program provides low cost financing to municipalities and utility districts throughout Maine in order to assist them in making improvements that help to protect our natural resources, as well as the health and safety of the residents of Maine. These funds allow the completion of much-needed repairs and improvements in a cost-effective and efficient manner and will help to ensure the availability of clean water for years to come."
Since the beginning of this program, EPA has awarded approximately $497 million to Maine for the construction, expansion and upgrading of clean water infrastructure resulting in decreased pollutant loadings to waterbodies throughout the state.
As communities develop and climate patterns shift, water infrastructure needs are expected to grow. Green infrastructure is a cost-effective and resilient approach to water infrastructure needs that provides benefits to communities across the nation.