Gov. Gregoire and Dept. of Ecology announce clean water project recommendations for recovery funding

OLYMPIA - Gov. Chris Gregoire and Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) have announced the final proposed list of clean water projects to receive $65.4 million in federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).

Projects eligible for the Recovery Act funds - which will arrive in the form of low-interest loans and additional subsidies through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund - are publicly owned water pollution control facilities and associated activities that are ready to proceed to construction. Ecology will administer the funding.

The funding will help local governments pay for water pollution control infrastructure including the upgrade and expansion of wastewater, reclaimed water and stormwater facilities, and green infrastructure projects that improve water or energy efficiency, or other environmentally innovative activities.

Ecology integrated the new federal Recovery Act funding with its annual water quality grant and loan funding cycle, nearly doubling the anticipated funding the state can offer for state fiscal year 2010. Prior to the Recovery Act funding, Ecology planned on distributing $71 million subject to the final state budget. Ecology proposes to now offer approximately $140 million.

"We're making sure every dollar will be spent on high priority projects from small towns to big cities to protect our state's water quality and create jobs," said Gregoire.

Of the total $140 million available, Ecology proposes to fund $60 million for Puget Sound projects. Of the $65.4 million in recovery funding, about $22 million is tagged for projects to benefit Puget Sound.