News Release

For release: Sept. 23, 2009

Contacts:
Rick Watters, DEQ Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program, Portland, (503) 229-6814
William Knight, Communications & Outreach, Portland, (503) 229-5680

DEQ Director to Present Federal Stimulus Funds For Oregon Water Quality Improvement Projects

Ceremonial passing of the check to four irrigation districts at OWRC Water Law Seminar on Thursday, Sept. 24

DEQ Director Dick Pedersen will present oversize ceremonial checks that represent federal stimulus funds awarded for water quality improvement projects to four Oregon irrigation districts on Thursday. The funds, offered though the Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program, will allow Central Oregon, Farmers, Swalley and Three Sisters irrigation districts to make improvements in their irrigation and conveyance systems.

 

The ceremony will take place at the Oregon Water Resources Congress Water Law Seminar at approximately 12 p.m.  The seminar is being held at the Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, OR.  For more information visit: http://www.owrc.org/

 

Projects in the four districts include:

 

·         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.

·         Farmers Irrigation District (Hood River), $4 million. To install irrigation piping so water can be transported through an enclosed system.

·         Swalley Irrigation District (Bend), $3.1 million. To install irrigation piping so water can be transported through an enclosed system.

·         Three Sisters Irrigation District (Sisters), $465,340. To install irrigation piping so water can be transported through an enclosed system. 

 

 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced in July receipt of $44.3 million in federal stimulus funds for 13 water quality improvement projects throughout the state.

 

“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.

 

DEQ is in the process of executing loan agreements with nine additional borrowers. 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.
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