Department of Ecology News Release - February 17, 2015

$229 million proposed for clean water projects across Washington
Opportunity to comment on the proposed project list

OLYMPIA – Grants and loans valued at approximately $229 million are proposed for 165 clean water projects across Washington. The money would go to communities all over the state to help fund much-needed infrastructure projects and help protect water and the environment.

“We’re partnering with local communities across Washington to help fund improvements,” said Heather Bartlett, manager of the Department of Ecology’s Water Quality Program. “It’s an opportunity to financially support communities that might not otherwise be able to afford these projects, and create jobs at the same time. Plus, we are fixing stormwater pollution problems that threaten our waters.”

State financial managers calculate that 11 jobs in Washington are created for every $1 million spent on infrastructure projects. Using this calculation, the funding will support more than 2,300 jobs, with one-third of them as construction jobs.

Highlights of the funding include approximately $145 million to 21 wastewater treatment facility projects. Six of these projects are in communities that qualify for financial hardship status. They will receive grants, forgivable principal loans (loans that do not need to be paid back), and loans with interest rates as low as zero percent. The communities are:

Approximately 110 of the projects would reduce stormwater pollution coming from existing development across Washington. Ecology proposes to share $63.2 million in grants from the Stormwater Financial Assistance Program. A few of the highest-priority stormwater projects include:

Thirty-one projects would receive $8 million to address land-use-caused pollution, including:

Ecology invites public comments on the proposed funding list through 5 p.m. March 15. It will hold a public meeting at 1 p.m., March 4, 2015, at the Pierce County Library, PAC - Processing and Administrative Center, 3005 112th Street East, Tacoma, WA, 98446. Visit our website or contact daniel.thompson@ecy.wa.gov if you have comments.

Project descriptions and proposed funding amounts can be found online, as well as descriptions of where the money comes from.  The funding is contingent on a final state budget. Spending could begin as early as July 1, 2015.

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Contact:

Sandy Howard, communications manager, 360-407-6408, @ecologyWA