DOE awarding $312 million to communities for clean water projects

An estuary of Puget Sound. Photo courtesy Washington Department of Ecology.

DOE awarding $312 million to communities for clean water projects

The Washington Department of Ecology is awarding $312 million in grants and loans that could support more than 3,000 jobs and improve water quality for communities across the state.

The money will fund 108 high-priority clean water projects that will upgrade wastewater treatment systems and sewer systems, better manage polluted stormwater, and prevent and clean up pollution from diffuse sources.

“Support from the legislature for these clean water projects is direct support for Washington communities,” said Vince McGowan, Ecology’s Water Quality Program Manager. “Local governments and organizations are essential partners in clean water because they do the on-the-ground work to protect and restore clean water every day.”

Nearly 90% of Ecology’s water quality funding is given to local communities for environmental projects. Money comes from a mix of state and federal funds. State financial managers calculate that every $1 million spent on building clean water infrastructure creates 11 direct and indirect jobs in Washington.

When evaluating and awarding funding, Ecology separates projects into three categories, based on the type of pollution they reduce: wastewater from treatment plants; surface runoff from rain; and nonpoint pollution, which is runoff or other pollution from a variety of sources.

Of the $312 million being awarded:

·$239 million in grants, forgivable loans, and low-interest loans will help fund 28 wastewater projects

·$42 million in grants and low-interest loans will help pay for 46 stormwater projects

·$30 million in grants, forgivable, and low-interest loans will help fund 34 nonpoint projects


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