Connecticut Gets $26 Million from EPA for Water Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $26 million to the State of Connecticut to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be primarily used to upgrade sewage plants and drinking water systems, as well as replacing aging infrastructure, throughout the state.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program, administrated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Office of the Treasurer (OTT), received $17.1 million. EPA?s funding provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from stormwater runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program, administrated by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the OTT, received $8.9 million. EPA?s funding provides low-interest loans to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities and to programs that encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.

?This funding will pay for projects that improve water quality and protect drinking water across Connecticut, and will provide benefits for decades to come,? said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA?s New England office. ?Clean drinking water and proper wastewater treatment are fundamental to protecting people?s health, but aging water infrastructure needs to be upgraded and repaired. EPA?s funding will help continue Connecticut?s program to invest in drinking water and wastewater systems and protect people?s health.?

?Connecticut has made a tremendous commitment to improving the quality of our waters by making certain wastewater treatment plants in this state are upgraded and modernized to meet the highest standards and through improved management of storm water runoff,? added Robert Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut?s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). ?This has required a major financial investment and the federal funds available to support us ? coupled with extensive state funding ? help move us forward toward achieving important water quality goals.?

?It is positive news that the State will receive another $26 million from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for projects funded by the Clean Water and Drinking Water Programs to improve the quality of Connecticut?s water systems and drinking water. This continued federal support enables our State to continue to invest in critical projects that benefit our environment, protect public health, and create jobs,? Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier said.

?Connecticut residents enjoy some of the most well-protected and high quality public drinking water in the country. However, the aging drinking water infrastructure which delivers water to our residents faces significant challenges,? said Connecticut DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. ?Because of these EPA funds, we are able to offer public water systems affordable financing for capital improvement projects that are critical to protecting public health, as well as addressing regulatory requirements and achieving long-term sustainability.?

Dr. Mullen said that since the inception of the DWRSF, DPH has provided over $214 million in loans to community water systems for upgrades and improvements to water treatment plants, pumping stations, storage tanks, and transmission and distribution systems. DPH has also utilized this EPA funding to provide numerous subsidized loans to small water systems for back-up power systems through its emergency power generator program.

Since the beginning of this program, EPA has awarded approximately $734 million to Connecticut for the construction, expansion and upgrading of clean water infrastructure resulting in decreased pollutant loadings to waterbodies throughout the state.

As communities develop and climate patterns shift, water infrastructure needs are expected to grow. Green infrastructure is a cost-effective and resilient approach to water infrastructure needs that provides benefits to communities across the nation.

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