The U.S. EPA awarded $8,052,500 to the state of New Hampshire for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program. The state can use the funds to support various drinking water programs within the state and to make low-interest loans to public and private community water systems to improve their facilities.
"This funding is going to help New Hampshire's communities carry out important projects to make their drinking water supplies cleaner and safer," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. Federal law requires that the state provide matching contributions to the revolving loan fund of 20 percent of the federal grant.
"The State Drinking Water Revolving Fund Program will help ensure that the State's drinking water supplies continue to remain safe and affordable," said Robert Monaco, Acting Commissioner of the N.H. Department of Environmental Services. "The loan program also ensures that drinking water systems that receive funding will be properly operated and maintained, and that a revolving fund will exist to provide financial support for drinking water needs for many years to come."
Grants to state drinking water revolving loan funds have been made since a 1996 amendment to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act authorized grants to the states for improving the infrastructure of drinking water systems. This grant to New Hampshire follows grants of $7,789,100 and $7,757,000 in 2001 and 2000, respectively. EPA's Drinking Water Needs Survey Report from February 2001 indicated that New Hampshire's drinking water infrastructure requires an investment of $499 million over the next 20 years.
Examples of projects by New Hampshire's Drinking Water revolving loan fund in the past include
- A $1.5 million loan to the Town of Raymond in 2000 to design and construct a new groundwater supply treatment facility.
- $6.1 million in loans to the City of Portsmouth to construct a new water tank and replace over 21,00 feet of distribution mains to improve water quantity and quality throughout the city.
- A $850,000 loan to the Town of Meredith to replace 6,700 feet of water main.