The Governor joined United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the RI Department of Environmental Management, RI Dept. of Health and the RI Clean Water Financing Agency at a press conference to announce $45.8 million in funding though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to provide funding and financing for high priority infrastructure projects needed to ensure clean water and safe drinking water in Rhode Island. Under the Recovery Act, Rhode Island shall receive $26.3 million for clean water and wastewater management projects and an additional $19.5 million for drinking water programs.
“These funds will help cities and towns throughout the state with upgrading our state’s aging drinking water systems, extend sewers to areas of failing septic systems, provide advanced treatment at two wastewater facilities to reduce the nutrients that cause fish kills and implementing green infrastructure projects, bolstering our ongoing work in protecting the health of all our citizens, create hundreds of jobs, and contribute to our efforts in ensuring that we have a healthy environment,” said Governor Donald L. Carcieri.
“The Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency has received $26.3 million in ARRA funds for Clean Water and $19.5 million for Drinking Water Projects. The Agency will use these funds in combination with other funds generated by the Agency to provide a larger amount to be used to assist the State in meeting its water quality goals,” said Anthony B. Simeone, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency.
Under the Recovery Act, the EPA encourages state clean water finance agencies to leverage the Recovery funds into bonds, allowing the Agency to provide funding options for more projects, so as long as the projects meet criteria set for forth under the Recovery Act. Projects may be funded using a combination of CWFA loan funds and Recovery Act loan funds. All the projects funded will have a portion of their principal forgiven.
Projected Bond Issuance
Projected Total Funding
The Clean Water Finance Agency, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Management, provides funding options through the state’s Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, for water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, nonpoint source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management.
Department of Environmental Management Director W. Michael Sullivan, PhD said, “From this site on Narragansett Bay we can see evidence that the CSO project is working--clam beds in the Upper Bay have opened to shellfishing and this important wild fishery is returning to an economic and environmental advantage. NBC’s advanced waste water processing will come on line and NBC’s assessment and serious consideration of wind energy is another improvement and part of our future environmental agenda.”
The Clean Water Finance Agency, in partnership with the Department of Health, provides funding options through the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, for drinking water systems 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.
“Assuring safe drinking water is a primary responsibility of HEALTH,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “Rhode Islanders expect that the water they use for drinking, cooking and bathing is clean and safe. Availability of these stimulus funds will assist us in continuing to provide this critical public health function.”
Projects that may qualify for funding are on the state’s Project Priority List and must meet ARRA criteria, which includes “shovel-ready” status, “green” components, and create jobs.
The Clean Water Finance Agency is currently accepting public comment on the list of Clean Water priority projects through May 19, 2009. The complete list of projects is available to view at www.recovery.ri.gov and www.DEM.ri.gov. An announcement on the first project to be certified for funding is expected by late May.
The Department of Health is currently accepting public comment on the list of Drinking Water priority projects through May 13, 2009. The state’s Intended Use Plan for Drinking Water is posted on www.ricwfa.com. The complete list of projects is available to view at www.recovery.ri.gov and www.health.ri.gov. An announcement on the first project to be certified for funding is expected by late May.