Department of Ecology News Release - October 3, 2012

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Deadline Nov. 2 to apply for next round of funding for clean water projects

OLYMPIA – Local governments and other eligible public entities have until Nov. 2 to apply for the next cycle of grants and loans from the Washington Department of Ecology for projects to improve and protect Washington’s water quality.

Ecology’s nationally recognized integrated funding process combines multiple funding programs into one-stop shopping for communities that need financial assistance to pay for clean water projects.

Projects qualifying for Ecology’s clean water funding include upgrades and expansion of sewer plants and collection systems; sewage system improvements; water re-use facilities; water cleanup projects; stormwater and groundwater projects; stream-side protection and restoration projects; public clean water education projects, and more.

Eligible applicants include local governments, conservation districts, port districts, public utility districts, local health departments, water and sewer districts, federally recognized Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations.

Ecology expects to offer approximately $138 million in grants and loans in the upcoming funding cycle and announce funding offers in early 2013. Ecology will finalize its offers at the close of the 2013 legislative session in concert with the final state budget. The funding can begin July 1, 2013, the beginning of the 2014 state fiscal year.

The funding not only helps protect clean water, it also stimulates local jobs. State financial managers calculate that 11 jobs in Washington are created for every million dollars spent in construction and design funding. Over half of these are likely to be local construction jobs.

Ecology provides technical assistance and outreach to communities throughout the state to explain how to qualify for the funding program.

The integrated program provides grants and low-interest loans. It also provides forgivable principal loans – loans that do not have to be paid back – to qualifying small, financially distressed communities.

The towns of Granger and Mabton were among five wastewater treatment projects that recently qualified for hardship status. They are receiving grants, forgivable principal loans, and low interest loans. The other three recent recipients for the hardship funds were Rock Island in Douglas County; the Skokomish Indian Tribe for work at Potlatch in Mason County; and Mason County for work in Belfair.

Funding for Ecology’s integrated loan and grant program comes from three funding programs, and a combination of dedicated state and federal monies:

Read more by visiting Ecology’s Water Quality Financial Assistance website

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Media Contact: Sandy Howard, 360-407-6408 (desk), 360-791-3177 (cellular), sandy.howard@ecy.wa.gov

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