Virginia is second state in nation to complete contracts for water quality ARRA projects
Today, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine announced that signed loan agreements are in place for all of Virginia’s water quality funds received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and 35 projects are under contract or construction. Virginia is the second state in the nation to complete contracts for water quality projects that received funding from the ARRA.
“This is a great accomplishment that underscores the importance of the federal recovery program,” Governor Kaine said. “Not only are these funds being rapidly deployed to create jobs for Virginians and improve our economy, but they will result in significant improvements to the state’s critical wastewater infrastructure.”
The Department of Environmental Quality, with the assistance of the Virginia Resources Authority, signed its last ARRA loan agreement December 18. Only Minnesota completed its contracts more quickly than Virginia.
In April 2009 the State Water Control Board approved $77.7 million in federal money from the ARRA through the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund. The money is for localities to improve wastewater treatment plants and collection systems.
In addition to increasing employment in numerous localities, the improvements will help reduce nutrient pollution – excess nitrogen and phosphorus – that wastewater plants discharge into Virginia waterways. For example, the funds will assist in installation of seven significant water reuse projects throughout Virginia, including one in Fairfax County that will reduce the wastewater discharge to the Chesapeake Bay watershed by approximately 580 million gallons per day.
Funding to the city of Lynchburg advances the city’s combined sewer overflow cleanup program by at least two years and will result in the elimination of two direct raw sewage overflow locations and a large number of overflow events from the James River.
Richmond also received funds that will enable significant progress on its combined sewer overflow project. Other projects will result in substantial energy savings at five localities in Virginia through the use of alternative energy sources including wind, solar, biogas and methane.
In addition, a substantial amount of the funding is going to southwest Virginia localities to provide sewer service in areas of failing septic tanks and drainfields, as well as eliminating numerous raw sewer overflows in that part of the state.