WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 24, 2009 -- EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson joined federal, state, and local officials today for the ground-breaking of the region's 'greenest' street, a Recovery Act-funded project that's transforming a Prince George's County neighborhood and creating jobs.
The reconstruction of Decatur Street, in the Prince George's County Town of Edmonston, will make it an environmentally-responsible street saving energy, reducing water pollution to the Anacostia River and Chesapeake Bay, and improving local air quality.
"President Obama's Recovery Act is creating jobs today and setting the stage for prosperous, sustainable communities in the years ahead," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "This is real recovery for Main Street. We're putting people to work by building one of the greenest neighborhoods in the country, and showing America how sustainable development can lower energy bills, foster healthier communities, and keep pollution out of the air, land, and local water sources."
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said, "Edmonston's 'green street' is just one of nearly 100 new job-creating and job-saving projects across Maryland getting underway thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- projects that will help to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways and protect our drinking water. We thank the Obama Administration, the EPA, and Maryland's Congressional Delegation for this much-needed funding."
Edmonston's Mayor Adam Ortiz hosted the event, which included a walking tour along Decatur Street with its residents, business owners and local workers employed by the project. He said the $1.1 million in Recovery Act funding from EPA will make Decatur Street the greenest on the East Coast. Plans for the mile-long street include planting dozens of native trees, installing rain gardens and porous paving to filter rainwater and reduce flooding, building bike lanes, improving pedestrian safety, and using energy-saving street lights powered by wind.
Mayor Ortiz explained, "This project shows how a committed group of people working together can transform a community. From President Obama and EPA to local nonprofits and residents of this small town, we are able to set an environmental example nationwide. It may be unusual for a small, working class, majority-minority community like ours to build a sustainable street like this. But if we can, anyplace can - and everyplace should. Our main objective is that other towns and cities will 'steal' these ideas and replicate and improve on them."
"The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to partner with EPA, Maryland Department of Environment, and the Town of Edmonston in bringing much needed Recovery Act funds to local communities," said Allen Hance, Executive Director of the Trust. "This is exactly the kind of 'green infrastructure' project we need to become the rule rather the exception if we're going to advance local economic recovery and the recovery of the Anacostia River and Chesapeake Bay."
President Barack Obama directed that the Recovery Act funds be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.
For information on EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Washington, visit: http://www.epa.gov/recovery.