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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2010
CONTACT: Durdaller, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 519-2897 (cell)
 

DEP Announces Completed Projects with Stimulus Funds to Benefit Water Quality

-Federal funding to protect environment and public health, stimulate economy-

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that it has committed all $218.9 million in Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) project money made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Florida secured the ARRA money to help local governments across the state finance improvements to wastewater, stormwater and drinking water facilities essential to protecting public health and the environment. Florida was one of the first states to meet all the requirements necessary to obtain the full amount of ARRA funds.

“Investing in our wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure is critical to water quality and public health protection for our citizens. The stimulus money offered an important supplement to our existing programs to fund infrastructure for local communities,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “These projects have also boosted the local economy through job creation and helped provide the communities with new sources of revenue.”

Twenty-eight projects have been awarded stimulus funds totaling more than $132 million through the department’s CWSRF and another 40 projects have been awarded more than $86 million through the DWSRF. All local construction contracts have been awarded and all projects have started construction.

DEP received more than $850 million in requests for the $86.6 million of ARRA drinking water project funds and more than $1.5 billion in requests competing for $132.3 million in ARRA wastewater and stormwater funding. Qualifying projects were selected for ARRA funding, based on their construction-readiness and environmental or public health priority.

The East County Water Control District (ECWCD) is a prime example of stimulus money at work. With $2,418,819 awarded by DEP on June 26, 2009, ECWCD has completed construction of the Harns Marsh Phase I Improvements and the Yellowtail Replacement Project—Florida’s first completed ARRA projects. Working with DEP, ECWCD has been able to replace four structures and build one new structure in order to reduce flooding to downstream neighbors on the Orange River, improve water quality and storage; and recharge the groundwater aquifers.

The Harns Marsh Phase I Improvement Project and Yellowtail 1A Replacement Project created jobs that otherwise might not have been available in a down economy. More than 40 jobs in construction, engineering and project management put money in people’s pockets and into the businesses of local communities.

“The support ECWCD has received from DEP enabled us to improve our services to local residents by replacing and constructing much needed infrastructure,” said Dave Lindsay, ECWCD District Manager. “The Harns Marsh Phase I and Yellowtail Replacement Projects have allowed us to recharge local basins, alleviate flooding to our Orange River residents and prepare for water storage for the 2010 rainy season.”

ECWCD preserves and protects water resources in Lehigh Acres (eastern Lee County) and western Hendry County through drainage, conservation, mitigation, navigational and water management practices. The District maintains 360 culvert crossing, 22 bridges, 66 water control structures and maintains 1,298 preserve acres within 70,000 acres of land – approximately 68,000 of which lie in eastern Lee County.

DEP established its SRF programs, under agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to provide low-interest financing to plan, design and build wastewater, stormwater and drinking water systems. Funded by federal capitalization grants, state matching funds, loan repayments, interest earnings, and periodic bond issues, SRF loans are offered at interest rates substantially below current market rates and help make loans affordable.

Since 1999, Florida has invested more than $3.7 billion to upgrade and improve water and wastewater facilities and clean up stormwater pollution, funding about 2,400 projects statewide.

For more information on the State Revolving Funds, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff.

For a list of communities awarded drinking water and clean water ARRA funding, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff/dwsrf/docs/final-dwsrf-certification.pdf, and www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff/cwsrf/docs/final-cwsrf-certification.pdf, respectively.

For more information about Florida’s use of the federal recovery dollars made available through ARRA, please visit www.FlaRecovery.com.

water glass

"Investing in our wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure is critical to water quality and public health protection for our citizens. The stimulus money offered an important supplement to our existing programs to fund infrastructure for local communities."

Michael W. Sole
DEP Secretary

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10–059

Last updated: April 05, 2010

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