For release: July 13, 2009
DEQ Receives $44.3 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds For Oregon Water Quality Improvement Projects
Thirteen communities, irrigation districts will receive loans under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced today receipt of $44.3 million in federal stimulus funds for 13 water quality improvement projects throughout the state. The funds, offered though the Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program, will allow communities from Albany to Pendleton and irrigation districts in Central Oregon to make improvements in wastewater treatment systems and irrigation systems.
“This federal stimulus money will help communities throughout the state put people back to work and protect Oregon waters,” said Gov. Ted Kulongoski. “This is a necessary investment in our infrastructure to ensure not only jobs and clean water but also a healthy economy.”
DEQ has no specific estimates on how many jobs will be created through these projects at this time, but it is expected that the cumulative work on the projects will likely require hundreds of people in various project phases.
The funds came through a capitalization grant DEQ obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for monies available to states via the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The act, signed by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, provides $4 billion of stimulus funding nationwide through state clean water loan programs. In all, DEQ received 160 applications from communities, irrigation districts and other entities throughout Oregon requesting funding for $718 million in water quality improvements projects.
For more information about specific projects awarded and the process of awarding the loans, see DEQ’s website at: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/loans/loans.htm.
“The number of applications we received underscores the great need throughout Oregon to improve existing wastewater treatment facilities and irrigation systems and to complete other projects that help protect and improve water quality,” said DEQ Director Dick Pedersen. “We wish we could have addressed the needs of more communities.”
DEQ required all communities and entities interested in the federal stimulus loans to complete a Clean Water State Revolving Fund application and provide documentation about the project’s benefits, environmental impacts and cost. DEQ water quality staff reviewed each application, and scored and ranked each based on criteria outlined by state administrative rules.
List of projects
DEQ provided the following list of projects eligible for the federal stimulus loans through an Intended Use Plan submitted to and approved by EPA. Many of the projects’ total costs exceed what was able to be provided through federal stimulus monies, but communities typically supplement funding for these projects though a combination of sources, including federal economic development/agricultural improvement grants and loans, municipal bonds, and their own available funds.
· City of Albany, $4 million. To construct wetlands which will provide additional treatment of effluent from the Albany wastewater treatment plant before the treated wastewater discharges into the Willamette River.
· City of Astoria, $4 million. To work on the Denver Street water storage project as part of city’s combined sewer overflow elimination project.
· Central Oregon Irrigation District (Redmond), $4 million. To install irrigation piping so that irrigation water can be taken out of open ditches and into an enclosed system.
· Clackamas County Service District #1 (Oregon City), $4 million. To construct collector sewers to replace septic systems.
· Farmers Irrigation District (Hood River), $4 million. To install irrigation piping so water can be transported through an enclosed system.
· Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (Springfield), $4 million. To make phase-one wastewater treatment improvements and expansion for system serving Eugene/Springfield.
· City of Millersburg, $4 million. (In conjunction with City of Albany project). To construct wetlands to provide additional effluent treatment.
· City of Milwaukie, $4 million. To install sewer lines in areas previously unconnected to the city’s sewer system.
· City of Pendleton, $4 million. To make wastewater treatment system upgrades.
· City of St. Helens, $4 million. To make sewer system improvements to reduce the amount of unwanted stormwater leaking into the existing sewer system.
· City of Scappoose, $705,660. To make sewage treatment and pump station improvements.
· Swalley Irrigation District (Bend), $3.4 million. To install irrigation piping so water can be transported through an enclosed system.
· Three Sisters Irrigation District (Sisters), $165,340. To install irrigation piping so water can be transported through an enclosed system.