Dec 30, 2015

EPA Announces $44 Million to Improve Water Quality, Infrastructure in Arizona, Nevada

Funds will be provided with an emphasis on small and disadvantaged communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $44 million in funding to Arizona and Nevada for investment in statewide improvements in local drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and the reduction of water pollution.

“This substantial investment at the federal level helps communities develop the infrastructure needed for clean, safe drinking water and proper wastewater treatment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest for EPA. “EPA is committed to protecting the water resources so important to public health and local economies.”

Funds will go to a variety of water quality infrastructure improvement projects throughout Arizona and Nevada, with an emphasis on small and disadvantaged communities and projects that promote sustainability. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund money funds public and private community and non-community water systems to support projects such as treatment, distribution, transmission, source and storage infrastructure. Clean Water State Revolving Fund money is used for publicly owned municipal wastewater system projects that would build or improve treatment plants, sewer collection systems, water reuse facilities and storm water infrastructure.

Some EPA funds are planned to go to a broader range of innovative infrastructure projects to improve the state’s water quality in the face of evolving threats from climate change. Examples include watershed protection, forest restoration and storm water management projects that utilize floodplains and natural landscapes to filter pollutants and protect water quality, minimize the area and impacts of floods, reduce the burden on public drainage infrastructure, and increase groundwater recharge.

EPA has awarded $820.3 million in federal funding for Arizona and Nevada’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs since their inception in 1988 and 1996, respectively. The funds are used for a variety of water quality projects, including watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, wastewater reclamation, and traditional municipal wastewater treatment systems including nonpoint source pollution control. The funds also support drinking water infrastructure, as well as drinking water plant operator training and technical assistance.

EPA’s Pacific Southwest region administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations—home to more than 48 million people.