Hoquiam School District gets $200,000 grant for energy efficiency improvements

The Hoquiam School District will receive over $200,000 in Energy Efficiency Grants from the state. Hoquiam is among 29 school districts across the state are being collectively awarded $9 million for school facility energy efficiency improvements, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced this week.

The projects will produce immediate and long-term energy and operational savings, improve the indoor environmental qualities of our schools and help stimulate construction-industry jobs in the state. The energy grant projects leverage state capital dollars with utility incentives, energy savings and local money to make improvements that may otherwise not be affordable.

The 29 projects have a total project cost of $38.3 million.

“We aren’t the only state working on reducing our energy use, but we are one of the best,” said State Superintendent Randy Dorn. (According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Washington ranks eighth in the nation.) “These improvements do more than just reduce energy,” Dorn said. “They remove obsolete heating and lighting equipment, keep cold winter breezes out and help create safer parking lots and walkways. The greatest change is that the improvements in the classrooms make concentrating on learning less of a challenge”

In all, 50 school districts applied for grant funding for school infrastructure and building system improvements with more than $50.1 million in total project costs.

To qualify for the funds, districts must conduct an investment-grade audit of their school facilities to identify projects that would yield energy savings and be most beneficial overall. The districts are required to measure, verify and report the actual energy savings.

Similar funding by the state Legislature for energy efficiency has been granted to school districts beginning in 2009. To date, OSPI has granted nearly $134 million to 176 school districts around the state.

For more information on these energy grants, or to view a map of all the energy grants by district, visit OSPI’s School Facilities Energy Grant Program Web site.

Six Indian Tribes in Washington to Benefit from $3.9 million in Recovery Act Funds to Improve Water Services

Tribes receiving funds in Washington are the Lummi Tribe ($1,052,100); Upper Skagit Indian Tribe ($1,041,670); Tulalip Tribe ($756,300); Makah Indian Tribe ($677,080); Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation ($232,300); and the Swinomish Tribe ($165, 250).These funds will bring much needed drinking water and sanitation improvements for the Tribes.  Many of these tribal households are in great need of modernized infrastructure to ensure clean drinking water and improved wastewater systems that are protective of people's health and the environment. 

Continuing a tradition spanning 20 years, EPA and IHS's combined effort to improve water services in Indian Country contributed to their identification of 95 wastewater and 64 drinking water priority projects to be completed by IHS's Sanitation Facilities Construction Program through EPA Recovery Act funds. The projects exceed the Recovery Act requirement that 20 percent of the funds be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally innovative projects.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 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. 

More information about all the EPA Recovery Act water efforts: http://www.epa.gov/water/eparecovery/