Feb 18, 2010

EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Visits Renewable Energy Installations in Syracuse, N.Y.

Progress assessed one year after signing of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

One year ago President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and over the last year, projects funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have yielded cleaner air, water and land and new jobs across the country, the agency said. Nowhere, EPA continued, is this better exemplified than in New York State, where EPA’s Recovery Act funding has spurred cleanups of toxic waste sites and leaking petroleum storage tanks, cleaner water, and projects to reduce air pollution from diesel engines. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Peter S. Silva visited one such project, a drinking water system in Syracuse that will soon be partially powered by wind and hydroelectric energy thanks to Recovery Act funding.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing more than $560 million for environmental cleanups and upgrades across New York State. Recovery Act funding is paying for nearly $432 million in wastewater improvements, about $87 million for drinking water projects, well over $15 million in clean diesel projects, almost $15 million for Superfund cleanups, more than $9 million to address leaking underground storage tanks and $2.5 million for brownfields assessments and cleanups.

More than $40 million of the wastewater and drinking water funds were dedicated to projects that derive power from clean renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower and improve energy efficiency, like those highlighted in Syracuse. The New York State Environmental Facilities Corp., a public benefit corporation, oversees the distribution and implementation of the state’s wastewater and drinking water funding.

“A year after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it’s clear that the environment, public health and the economy are benefiting from projects like the green innovation projects at the Westcott Reservoir,” Silva said. “Because of projects like this one--and dozens of others across the state--municipalities across New York are saving money by increasing energy efficiency and generating their own green power.”

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made great strides to protect and rebuild our State’s failing water infrastructure and hard-hit economy,” said EFC President and CEO Matthew J. Driscoll. “In addition, these projects will provide taxpayer savings through reduced energy and water use, while protecting our water bodies. I would like to express my gratitude to Governor Paterson and the New York Congressional Delegation for their work to secure and disburse these critical funds."