The Washington State Department of Ecology has selected 82 projects in the state to receive about $94 million in loans and grants for the improvement of water quality.
Funded programs address issues such as antiquated wastewater treatment plants and keeping pollution out of rivers in irrigation districts.
"This is very good news to communities that need to improve their water quality so it’s safe for their citizens and for fish," said Tom Fitzsimmons, the department's director. "We only wish there was more money to go around, because there are hundreds more water quality needs in our state."
This year, local governments and native Indian tribes requested funding for 221 projects totaling $268 million. The department reviewed proposals and solicited comments from the public. Projects were selected according to the following criteria: existing or potential water-quality problems, the effectiveness of proposed projects to solve pollution problems and local community coordination.
"We have some very good and creative projects that will move forward with this money," said Megan White, who manages the department's water-quality program. "As an example, we will be funding a project to provide information about irrigating and protecting water quality in both English and Spanish to Hispanic landowners in Grant County."
More information is available at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/funding/2001.
(Source: Washington State Department of Ecology)