Ecology awards $220 million in clean water grants
(OLYMPIA)– Communities across the state seeking funding for important clean-water projects are about to get a significant boost from the Washington Department of Ecology.
The agency announced that it is awarding nearly $220 million in grants and loans to help pay for 230 high-priority, clean-water projects.
Thanks to the funding, cities from Sequim to Walla Walla and all the way to Tonasket will now be able to upgrade sewage treatment systems, manage polluted stormwater runoff, and complete projects to prevent pollution.
“Local communities depend on these grants and loans to protect water quality and maintain vital wastewater infrastructure,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. “These projects, and the jobs they’ll create, really make a difference economically and environmentally.”
Thirty-five projects are receiving $16 million in grants and loans to address nonpoint pollution that comes from widespread, hard-to-trace activities. Thirty wastewater treatment projects are receiving $110 million in funding. Thirteen of the projects qualify for special hardship financial assistance due to their potential impact on residential sewer bills. Ninety-six communities are receiving $45 million in grants and loans to implement projects that reduce stormwater pollution. Sixty-seven stormwater projects that were delayed from fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017 are receiving about $39 million in grants. Two projects to repair or replace on-site sewage systems are receiving $9 million.
Funding for these projects was able to move forward once the 2017-19 capital budget passed this year. This funding was delayed when the capital budget was not passed during the 2017 legislative session.