EPA Action: Report shows $53B invested in U.S. wastewater infrastructure

Also in this report: New requirement for chemical risk study; $5M to study nanotechnology effects; Full participation for PFOA program; U.S., Mexico to cooperate on methane plans; EPA science peer review comments sought; U. of Ariz. wins $1.7M for border science center; $4M to protect Puget Sound; 362 La. school labs get help; Technology makes river, harbor sediment useful product; Hudson cleanup plans near completion; Charles River sewage to be cut; Funding for Anacostia, Potomac watersheds...

In other news below:
-- National assessment of toxic air pollutants issued
-- New requirement to help assess potential chemical risks
-- $5M awarded to study health, environmental effects of nanotechnology
-- 100% participation in EPA's PFOA Stewardship Program
-- Businesses recognized for turning energy savings into environmental profit
-- U.S., Mexico to cooperate on capture, use of methane
-- Peer review plans for EPA science available for public comment
-- University of Arizona wins $1.7M for U.S.-Mexico environmental science center
-- EPA, Washington state provide $4M to protect Puget Sound
-- Hundreds of Louisiana school labs get help from environmental responders
-- Technology turns contaminated river, harbor sediment into useful product
-- Iowa group wins $30,000 grant for Smart Growth Assessment in Des Moines
-- Hudson cleanup plans near completion
-- Public comment extended on 'Model Validation' report for Housatonic River
-- Higher PCB concentrations found at Duwamish Superfund site in Seattle
-- Massachusetts authority to sharply reduce in sewage contamination of Charles River
-- Funding supports Anacostia, Potomac watersheds
-- Waiver proposed for Ponce Wastewater Treatment Plant
-- Three achievement awards presented in South Dakota
-- Puerto Rico Corrections to build $1M water supply system
-- Tallahassee water utility honored for drinking water excellence
-- Hawaii County gets $1.36 million to replace cesspools
-- Aid offered to improve agricultural watershed quality in heartland

Report: U.S. Invests $53 Billion in Wastewater Infrastructure
WASHINGTON, DC, March 24, 2006 -- New figures released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveal that the federal government and the states have invested almost $53 billion in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program to rebuild and refurbish the nation's wastewater infrastructure over the last 18 years. The figures are published in the "Clean Water State Revolving Fund Programs: 2005 Annual Report."

The report also highlights the innovative ideas of state CWSRF programs and includes an update on the financial performance of the CWSRF program. The CWSRF is the largest federal funding program for wastewater infrastructure projects, such as treatment plants and collection systems. The CWSRF has made almost 17,000 loans since the program's inception in 1988.

"EPA is committed to helping our partners sustain progress and increase opportunities for state revolving funds through financial stewardship, innovation, and collaboration," said Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles. "This report demonstrates the power of partnerships to leverage, innovate, and excel to meet wastewater infrastructure, watershed protection, and community health needs."

The CWSRF includes annual EPA contributions matched with at least an additional 20 percent from the states. The states, in turn, make low-interest loans to local utilities. The interest income and repayments derived from the loans help fund future projects. Many states also issue bonds, which added $940 million to the fund last year. Annual CWSRF assistance has averaged about $4.5 billion. Borrowers save an average of 21 percent on financing costs over the life of the loan.

Just as the program has expanded since it began, the CWSRF continues to evolve. In 2005, states began submitting information to track environmental benefits. Each project is linked to a river, lake, or stream and to beneficial uses of that body of water such as fishing and swimming. More than 60 percent of the total funding reported goes to projects that protect drinking water, preserve fish habitat, and provide for water recreation.

The report (EPA-832-R-06-001) is online at: www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/annreport2005.htm and general information about the CWSRF is at: www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/.

Also see:
-- "National Assessment of Toxic Air Pollutants Issued"
-- "New Requirement to Help Assess Potential Chemical Risks"
-- "$5 Million Awarded to Study Health and Environmental Effects of Nanotechnology"
-- "100% Participation and Commitment in EPA's PFOA Stewardship Program"
"Over 65 Businesses Recognized for Turning Energy Savings into a Profit for the Environment"

Related USNewswire headlines:
-- "Clean Air Advisors to EPA: Reconsider Your Weak Particle Soot Proposal"
-- "Federal Court Unanimously Rejects Rollback of Clean Air Protections"
-- "Court Rejects Bush Admin. Plan to Gut Key Clean Air Act Safeguard; Ruling Blocks Thousands of Facilities from Increasing Pollution"
-- "NET: President Bush Ignores Science on Air Pollution; New Proposed Soot Standards Don't Go Far Enough to Protect Public Health"
-- "Earthjustice Urges EPA to Adopt Stronger Particulate Pollution Standards; Proposed Standards and Exemptions are Illegal, Industry- Driven"
-- "Clean Air Watch to EPA Chief: Bush Misleads Public About Dangers of Soot"
-- "Statement from American Water Works Association on Fluoride Report Issued by National Research Council"
-- "ADA Statement on Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards"
-- "Federal, State Leaders Urge Congress to Restore Great Lakes, Fund Bipartisan $20 Billion Restoration Plan"

Among other EPA headlines:
U.S., Mexico make progress on key environmental border issues
WASHINGTON, DC, March 24, 2006 -- The U.S.-Mexico border region is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the world, extending 2,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, with natural features as different as deserts, mountains and beaches. Today, EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock met with Mexican Environmental Undersecretary Felipe Vazquez at the annual meeting of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission (BNC) on the unique environmental challenges for protecting the border's environment and public health. More than 11.8 million people reside here, including four U.S. and six Mexican states, 26 American Indian Tribes, and seven Mexican native populations...
Also see: "U.S., Mexico to Cooperate on Capture and Use of Methane"

Peer review plans for EPA science available for public comment -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 22, 2006 -- The EPA has posted its plans for conducting scientific peer reviews of its most influential science activities on its website as part of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines for federal agencies. This website provides access to all the peer review plans and offers opportunity for public comment on them. In keeping with OMB guidelines for federal agencies, EPA is seeking public comment on peer review plans of "influential" and "highly influential" scientific information. "Influential scientific information" denotes science that will have a substantial impact on important public policies. "Highly influential" means the impact could also have a great economic impact on either the public or private sector. An example of a "highly influential" scientific assessment is the annual National-Scale Assessment of Air Toxics Risks, which looks at environmental and health impacts of more than 130 air toxics...

EPA awards University of Arizona $1.7 million for U.S.-Mexico environmental science center -- SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2006 -- The EPA awarded the University of Arizona a $1,750,815 grant to fund a U.S.-Mexico Binational Center for Environmental Science and Toxicology. The state of Arizona is also funding the project with an additional $449,185 grant. The center is designed to build Mexico's academic capacity to address environmental and human health risks, particularly those associated with arsenic and other metals resulting from mining activities. The first research project will investigate the relationship of arsenic and diabetes and breast cancer incidences along the U.S.-Mexico border, long-term effects of heavy metals on children's health, landfill leachate plumes, and mine tailings. The center will also provide training fellowships for Mexican doctoral students of environmental science, engineering, and toxicology. It will also develop Spanish-language textbooks and information sheets addressing environmental legislation, environmental engineering and science, and environmental toxicology. To learn more about the EPA's U.S. - Mexico Border 2012 Program, visit: www.epa.gov/region09/border/index.html...

EPA, Washington State provide nearly $4 million to protect Puget Sound -- OLYMPIA, WA, March 10, 2006 -- Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire and U.S. Congressman Norm Dicks were on hand today when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded nearly $2 million to the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to accelerate and improve efforts to address the health of Puget Sound, the second largest marine estuary in the United States. Washington must secure approximately $2 million to match the federal grant. One of Gov. Gregoire's priorities this year was to ensure a sustainable Puget Sound. In December, she unveiled a $42 million initiative to begin restoring Puget Sound by 2020 and formed the Puget Sound Partnership, a public-private effort to help solve environmental challenges in the Sound. The Washington Legislature largely adopted this request, providing a total of $52 million...

Hundreds of Louisiana school labs get help from environmental responders -- METAIRIE, LA, March 10, 2006 -- Environmental responders have completed assessments of potentially hazardous chemicals at 362 school chemistry and biology laboratories in southern Louisiana damaged by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. Responders from the EPA and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, with the assistance of environmental cleanup contractors, safely removed chemicals from more than 100 schools. For more information about the hurricane response efforts, please visit www.epa.gov/katrina/ or www.deq.louisiana.gov...

More News from EPA Regions:
-- "Technology turns contaminated river, harbor sediment into useful product; environmental headache can become valuable product"
-- "'1000 Friends Of Iowa' Receives $30,000 EPA Grant for Smart Growth Assessment In Des Moines"
-- "Hudson Cleanup Plans Near Completion; EPA Also Releases Community Health and Safety Plan"
-- "EPA Extends Public Comment Period on information in 'Model Validation' Report for Housatonic River"
-- "Higher PCB Concentrations Found at Duwamish Superfund Site's Terminal 117 in Seattle"
-- "Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to Implement Sharp Reductions in Sewage Contamination of Charles River"
-- "EPA funding supports Anacostia, Potomac watersheds"
-- "EPA Proposes to Grant Waiver for Ponce Wastewater Treatment Plant"
-- "Three EPA Achievement Awards Received in South Dakota"
-- "Puerto Rico Administration of Corrections to Construct $1 Million Water Supply System"
-- "Tallahassee Water Utility Recognized for Drinking Water System Excellence"
-- "Hawaii County gets $1.36 million to replace cesspools"
-- "EPA Offers Aid to Improve Quality of Agricultural Watersheds in Plains States"

Regulatory Enforcement Roundup:
-- "Former Manager of Inwood Dairy Pleads Guilty to Violation of the Clean Water Act"
-- "Utah Gold and Silver Refiner, Top Managers Charged with Conspiracy to Violate Environmental Laws"
-- "Owner of 'Super Soda Center' Stores in Maryland Settles with EPA Over Underground Fuel Tank Violations"
-- "EPA issues complaint to JG Sablan Rock Quarry, Inc., for waste management violations"
-- "EPA orders aquaculture company to restore filled wetland area on Molokai"
-- "Court Settlement Signals Go Ahead For Cleanup of Metal Bank Superfund Site"
-- "EPA fines Guam Waterworks Authority additional $35,000 for failure to meet federal court order requirements"
-- "EPA Settles with Texaco Caribbean on Federal UST Rules; Violations at Seven Gas Stations in the U.S. Virgin Islands"
-- "EPA announces large capacity cesspool agreement with Hawaii Department of Education"
-- "EPA Fines Fuels and Supplies Inc. for Underground Storage Tank Violations"
-- "Seven Washington State water systems ordered to send annual water quality reports to their customers"
-- "Hawaii landowner agrees to pay $7.5 million for stormwater"
-- "Menards faces EPA administrative order for damaging South Dakota stream"
-- "Cattle Feedlot Operator in Southwestern Iowa Cited for Clean Water Act Violations"
-- "Three Southern California companies ordered to limit wastewater discharges"
-- "Duran Construction Company ordered to restore wetlands in Juneau, Alaska"
-- "EPA orders Nordman Feedlots to stop discharges"

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In earlier EPA Action reports: "EPA Action: Agency calls on industry to reduce chemical use" -- Also in this report (March 2, 2006): EPA orders Nordman Feedlots to stop discharges; 13 Phoenix, Ariz. underground storage tanks cited for violations; Conger Management Group pays $9,000 for Clean Water Act violations in Idaho; Maine requests 'No Discharge Area' for Casco Bay waters; New Britain, Conn., pays fines for wastewater violations at city's facilities; EPA settles Clean Water Act case against Dlesk Realty for filling stream; New grant funds will assist New England communities target, reduce environmental risks; National developer cited for Clean Water Act violations at Raymore, Mo., site; EPA funds project to demonstrate less is better with insecticides at N.J. cranberry farms; Taunton, Mass., textile company faces penalty for chemical spill; EPA says cleanup complete at Fargo dry cleaner site; Simpson County Water District in Franklin, Ky., and Pinellas County Utilities in Clearwater, Fla., honored for drinking water system excellence; Contractors ordered to remove demolition waste from Ariz. river...

For the latest EPA news releases, click here.

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