Delaware receives EPA approval for $54M plan to improve water quality, cut greenhouse gases

The state of Delaware has received approval from EPA to implement a $54-million clean water plan that will improve local water quality by eliminating failing septic systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy improvements at wastewater treatment plants.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, Dec. 29, 2014 -- The state of Delaware has received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement a $54-million clean water plan that will improve local water quality by eliminating failing septic systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy improvements at wastewater treatment plants.

The Intended Use Plan includes $6.8 million from EPA's FY-2014 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), which makes low-interest loans to assist communities in protecting and improving water quality for drinking water, recreation and natural habitat.

To fund the plan, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has incorporated this year's EPA grants with $47.2 million comprised of prior-year CWSRF loan repayments, interest paid by local governments on their loans and state-matching funds.

The following list details three examples of how the funding will be allocated:

  • Sussex County will receive $6.7 million for an infrastructure project in the Angola North region consisting of wastewater collection and transmission systems to eliminate failing septic systems. Failing septic systems release bacteria, viruses and chemicals toxic to local waterways. When these pollutants are released into the ground, they eventually enter streams, rivers and lakes, harming local ecosystems by killing native plants, fish and shellfish.
  • The City of Lewes will receive $1.47 million for its Highland Acres wastewater collection system and another $1.62 million for its Savannah Place wastewater collection system. Both of these infrastructure improvement projects will also eliminate failing septic systems.
  • TheCity of Seaford will receive $2.01 million for its Renewable Energy Solar System project at its wastewater treatment plant. The funds will be used to install a ground-mounted solar array to generate 421 kilowatts DC of energy to offset the energy consumption at the Seaford Treatment Plant. This project will significantly reduce greenhouse gases from the wastewater facility.

In addition to these projects, six others totaling $42.2 million are being funded under Delaware's FY-2014 Intended Use Plan. Projects on the approved plan must commence within 18 months.

Low-interest loans through the CWSRF program assist communities financially by ensuring that water and sewer rates are kept as affordable as possible while still addressing local water quality problems. All projects financed through the CWSRF are vital to protect and restore water quality in the nation's rivers, lakes and streams.

See also:

"DNREC, DCRC reach penalty settlement agreement for water-related violations"

"Restoration project in DE town to improve water quality, stormwater management"

###

More in Potable Water Quality