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Economic Stimulus Funding for Environmental Priorities in Oregon
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides $6 billion to help communities with water quality, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure needs; $300 million for grants and loans to help with projects that reduce diesel emissions; and $200 million for cleanup of petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks.
Oregon is focused on accelerating our state's economic recovery by
creating jobs and economic stability for communities throughout the
state during this volatile time. Governor Ted Kulongoski's approach is
comprehensive, leveraging state and federal dollars and private
investment to maximize efforts that deliver short-term stimulus and
long-term economic prosperity. The ARRA empowers Oregon to invest in its
economy by pursuing smart, sustainable, and transformational efforts
- doing this "The Oregon Way."
Oregon DEQ Administered Funds
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has been awarded the following Recovery Act funding:
Clean Water State Revolving Fund
Oregon DEQ was awarded about $44 million through an additional capitalization grant for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan program. The CWSRF program provides low-cost loans to communities for water quality and wastewater infrastructure needs.
DEQ has certified the following projects as ARRA grant recipients through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund:
The ARRA required all funds to be committed to eligible projects by Feb. 17, 2010. Loan agreements had to be signed with DEQ for projects that were committed to contracts for construction or in which construction has begun.
Green Project Reserve Funding
At least 20 percent of the capitalization grant was required for projects that address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements or other environmentally innovative activities. This is known as the Green Project Reserve and amounts to $8.8 million in Oregon. DEQ evaluated project applications and identified those projects that qualify for this portion of the funding. Three water efficiency irrigation projects will be funded under this Reserve that will significantly reduce the amount of water loss in their delivery systems, and will increase the return of water to nearby streams to improve water quality.
Loan Financial Terms
States are also required to use at least 50 percent of the
capitalization grant to provide additional subsidization to eligible
applicants. Oregon will provide principal forgiveness on a loan as the
additional subsidization. A loan made to a borrower that is a small
community (defined in CWSRF administrative rules as a public agency
serving a population of 5,000 or less) will include 75 percent principal
forgiveness. All other loans made under the Act will include 50 percent
principal forgiveness. For both types of loans, the remaining loan
amount will be repaid at zero percent interest.
Additional information can be found at:
Water Quality Planning Grant
DEQ received a grant of $447,200 to conduct water planning projects; 40 percent of the grant − $178,880 − is allocated to regional public planning organizations that assist in the development and implementation of water quality management plans that include watershed restoration and other water-related implementation activities. The projects include:
Clean Diesel Grants
The ARRA provides $300 million nationally to support clean diesel activities meeting the following priorities:
In 2009 DEQ received $1.7 million in state clean diesel funding for grants. The goal is to create jobs and reduce emissions from diesel engines. DEQ projects focus on exhaust controls and engine upgrades.
Additional information can be found at:
Leaking Underground Storage Cleanups
Oregon received about $2.7 million on July 28, 2009 to protect human health and the environment by cleaning up petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks. Private environmental engineering firms under contract to DEQ have performed the bulk of site assessment and cleanup work. These firms have done cleanup work at 18 sites statewide, primarily in rural counties. Sites that posed the greatest threat to human health and the environment and that lacked an owner financially able to undertake the cleanup were given the highest priority. A total of 10 sites had assessment work completed and 9 sites had cleanup work completed, in the process retaining or creating approximately 27 private sector jobs. DEQ has prepared a final performance report explaining the work performed at the 18 sites.
Woodstove Changeout Rebates
DEQ received $2 million in ARRA funds from the Oregon Department of Energy to conduct woodstove changeouts by replacing old uncertified woodstoves with cleaner, more efficient burning devices. DEQ anticipates a targeted goal of woodstove replacements in four Oregon communities. The four communities have poor air quality due to wood smoke emissions; these communities are Klamath Falls, Oakridge, Lakeview and Burns/Hines. DEQ's woodstove changeout program has a two-pronged approach:
The uncertified device must be removed and destroyed, and the new replacement device must be installed to meet local building codes. This program will run from June 2010 through February 1, 2012. To read more information about woodstoves and their impact on the environment, visit the Woodstoves web page. A woodstove changeout program is available in both Klamath Falls and Lakeview.