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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."
 
DEQ is administering an estimated $51 million or more in Recovery Act funding for environmental projects in Oregon.

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Oregon DEQ Administered Funds

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has been awarded the following Recovery Act funding:

  • Approximately $44 million for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan program
  • $447,200 to conduct water planning projects
  • $1.7 million in state clean diesel funding for grants, and
  • Up to $2.8 million to protect human health and the environment by cleaning up petroleum leaks from underground storage tank sites.

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.

Project Certifications

DEQ has certified the following projects as ARRA grant recipients through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund:

City of St. Helens PDF City of Milwaukie PDF
City of Albany PDF City of Pendleton PDF
City of Astoria PDF City of Scappoose PDF
Clackamas County Service District #1 PDF Metropolitan Waste Management Commission PDF
Central Oregon Irrigation District PDF Swalley Irrigation District PDF
Farmers Irrigation District PDF Three Sisters Irrigation District PDF
City of Millersburg PDF  

Funding requirements

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:

  • "Watershed Project Implementation in Oregon Watersheds" (DEQ)
    Identify the priority water quality problems in a selected Oregon basin, with stakeholder input, and develop strategies to address the priority problems.

  • "Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load Assessment in the Willamette Basin" (DEQ)
    Implement monitoring plan to develop a mercury Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and point source mercury minimization plan in the Willamette basin. The project will build on previous DEQ efforts to implement a mercury minimization plan.

  • "Regulatory Approach for Industrial Stormwater Discharges to TMDL approved Waterbodies: Project in Support of Reconsideration of NPDES Industrial Stormwater General Permits" (DEQ)
    Evaluate and develop a regulatory approach for industrial stormwater discharges to impaired waterbodies with adopted and EPA approved Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Developing permit requirements for industrial stormwater discharges to TMDL basins to ensure they comply with TMDLs is a new regulatory approach for industrial stormwater general permits that will result in significant improvements to water quality and provide clarity to facilities on how to comply with TMDLs.

  • "Lower Columbia River Habitat Restoration Project Development" (implemented by the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership)
    Provide a staff person through 2010 to be jointly shared by the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council, Lower Columbia River Watershed Council and Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District to help these organizations develop new habitat restoration projects. Habitat restoration projects that come from this work will help improve water quality and implement goals in the draft Oregon Recovery Plan and the goal of restoring 16,000 acres of wetland and upland habitat by 2010 in the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and the EPA 2006-2011 Strategic Plan.

  • "Water Quality Planning Work to Support the Bear Creek and Rogue River Basin TMDLs" (implemented by the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG))
    For the Bear Creek Watershed TMDL and the Rogue River Basin TMDL, provide: professional planning assistance to the 26 Designated Management Agencies (DMAs) to produce in-depth and effective TMDL implementation plans; professional assistance to present/support the implementations plans to the public and the DMA governing boards (city councils, county board of commissioners, irrigation district board of directors; low-cost water quality monitoring to interested DMAs to provide these small communities an opportunity to investigate areas of potential concern; and, development of a prioritized tree planting restoration plan for the TMDL areas which will ensure the success of riparian restoration projects undertaken by the DMAs.

Clean Diesel Grants

The ARRA provides $300 million nationally to support clean diesel activities meeting the following priorities:

  • Maximize public health benefits
  • Are the most cost effective
  • Are in areas with high population density, that are poor air quality areas (including nonattainment or maintenance areas, Federal Class 1 areas, or areas with toxic air pollutant concerns)
  • Are in areas that receive a disproportionate quantity of air pollution from diesel fleets, including truck stops, ports, rail yards, terminals and distribution centers or that use a community based multi-stakeholder collaborative process to reduce diesel emissions
  • Include a certified engine configuration or verified technology that has a long expected useful life
  • Maximizes the useful life of any certified engine configuration or verified technology
  • Conserves diesel fuel
  • Uses ultra low sulfur diesel ahead of EPA’s mandate for non-road applications

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:

  1. Total replacement and installation for low-income individuals of the uncertified heating system with a more efficient and less polluting heating device
  2. An incentive rebate program for the general public to encourage replacement of an uncertified woodstove with a more efficient and less polluting heating device

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.

 

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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
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