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EPA Announces $15.6 Million Recovery Act Funds for Water Infrastructure Projects in West Virginia to Boost the Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Public Health

6/15/2009 (PHILADELPHIA - June 15, 2009) In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water infrastructure and protect human health and the environment for the people in the State of West Virginia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $15.6 million to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. This new infusion of money provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will help the state and local governments finance many of the overdue improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state.

“West Virginia now has the ‘green light’ to fund projects that will protect public health, upgrade infrastructure, and invigorate local economies across the state,” said William C. Early, acting administrator of EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.  “The additional resources will allow the state to provide subsidies to communities that really need extra help to afford clean drinking water facilities.”

The Recovery Act funds will go to the state's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program provides low-interest loans for drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. The program also emphasizes providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water. An unprecedented $2 billion dollars will be awarded to fund drinking water infrastructure projects across the country under the Recovery Act in the form of low-interest loans, principal forgiveness and grants. At least 20% of the funds provided under the Recovery Act are to be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally innovative projects.

This grant is a partial award of the $19,500,000 available through the Recovery Act to West Virginia's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program.  The remaining 20 percent for Green Reserve Projects -- $3,900,000 - - will be awarded to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources later in the year.

Since the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program began in 1997, EPA has awarded more than $8 billion in grants, which states have turned into $15 billion of financial assistance to fund drinking water projects. The revolving nature of the program ensures drinking water projects will be funded for generations to come.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) on February 17, 2009 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.  To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.  

Information on implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in West Virginia, visit: http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/allocation-programs&state=WV

Information on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program visit http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf/