SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded nearly $300 million in federal funding to improve aging water and wastewater infrastructure and protect human health and the environment for people in the state of California. This new infusion of money through infrastructure capitalization grants will help state and local governments finance many of the overdue improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment throughout California.

“Today our water infrastructure is working harder than ever to address growing populations, new and old pollution challenges, and tightening budgets,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “With nearly $300 million in EPA support, California will be able to put people to work and ensure clean, healthy water in their environment and safe drinking water in their homes."

“Investing in our infrastructure will not only enhance our long-term economic growth and global competitiveness, it will also create jobs now when we need them the most,” said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “With $300 million, we’ll be able to get Californians working to improve our aging water infrastructure and spearhead innovative new projects that will benefit our environment and economy. I applaud the U.S. EPA for their foresight in providing this federal funding.”

The EPA has awarded $127 million to the California Department of Public Health for drinking water infrastructure projects and $147 million to the State Water Resources Control Board for wastewater projects. The funding will update sewage and water treatment facilities and support drinking water projects in northern, central and southern California. At least 20 percent of the funds provided are to be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements, and other environmentally innovative projects.

The following California municipalities are currently pursuing a funding agreement pending a technical, environmental, and/or financial review: Fresno, Klamath, Tehachapi, Merced, Sonoma, Monterey, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Stockton, Shasta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Redding, Yucaipa, Castro Valley, Seal Beach, Santa Cruz, Turlock, Seal Beach, San Clemente, Alameda, Solano, Brea, Mendocino, Salinas, East Palo Alto, Sacramento, Oakland, Modesto, Thousand Oaks, Vacaville, Fontana, Arvin, Banning, Atwater, Sausalito, Orange County, San Leandro, Beverly Hills, Pismo Beach, La Puente, San Luis Obispo, San Leandro, Morro Bay, Hollywood, and many others. For a full list of potentially fundable projects, see the recipients identified in the links below.

To view a list of the projects currently identified as fundable by the California Department of Public Health, visit www.cdph.ca.gov/services/funding/Documents/SRF/2010/AppendixC-2010Final10-11FundableList-09-21-2010.xls.

To view a list of the projects currently competing for funding from the Water Board, visit www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/srf/docs/fy1011/iup_fy1011.pdf.

The funding will be distributed by the Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Public Health. The funds will provide low-interest loans and principal forgiveness loans for water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. They will also provide low-interest loans or principal forgiveness loans for drinking water systems in order to finance infrastructure improvements. The programs emphasize funding for small and disadvantaged communities and encourage pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe drinking water.

During the last year, the California State Revolving Fund Program has funded a wide variety of water quality improvement projects.

In northern California, the city of Oakland’s Rainwater Harvesting Program has received $1.3 million in state revolving funds. The program provides incentives, training, and rain barrels to allow residents to reuse rainwater for irrigation purposes and to mitigate stormwater impacts to local and regional water resources.

In Contra Costa County, the Ironhouse Sanitary District Wastewater Treatment plant expansion project has received $51.9 million in funds to replace the district’s outdated secondary wastewater treatment facility with a new tertiary facility. Treated effluent will be reused for agricultural purposes to the maximum extent possible.

In southern California, the city of Redondo Beach’s Alta Vista park diversion and re-use project has received $2.2 million. The project will divert, treat, and reuse runoff from a 101-acre watershed that discharges into Santa Monica Bay just south of the Redondo Beach Pier.

Since 1989, the EPA has provided the Water Board a cumulative total of $2,454,850,118 in clean water SRF capitalization grant funds.

Since 1998, the EPA has provided California’s Department of Public Health a cumulative total of $1,289,315,478 in drinking water SRF capitalization grant funds.

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