EPA awards $15 million to Nevada for water quality, public health

Posted: November 8, 2013
Contact: Margot Perez-Sullivan, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection a $6.5 million grant for its Clean Water State Revolving Fund and an $8.5 million grant for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for water pollution control and drinking water infrastructure projects.

“In the last 24 years, EPA has provided over $320 million in funding for Nevada water projects alone” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Without this investment and creative financing at the federal level, many communities would not be able to provide for Nevadans’ basic needs for clean, safe drinking water and proper wastewater treatment.”
NDEP will use the funds to provide low-cost loans for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades. NDEP’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) provides financing for municipal wastewater treatment projects, while its Drinking Water SRF provides financial assistance for supporting drinking water infrastructure systems.

Projects previously funded using SRF loans include new well construction to decrease arsenic levels in drinking water supplied to the town of Tonopah as well as the construction of an advanced wastewater treatment facility in Clark County to reduce the amount of bacteria and chemicals entering Lake Meade.

EPA has awarded over $170 million in federal funding for Nevada’s Clean Water State SRF since inception of the program in 1989. NDEP increases the investment in Nevada by leveraging the federal dollars on the bond market. The funds are used for a wide variety of water quality projects, including nonpoint source pollution control, watershed protection or restoration, water and energy efficiency projects, wastewater reclamation, and traditional municipal wastewater treatment projects. Since 1997, Nevada’s Drinking Water SRF has received almost $150 million in federal funding. Funds to the program support drinking water infrastructure, programs such as drinking water plant operator training, and technical assistance.

Forty years ago, when the federal Clean Water Act was made law, Congress charged EPA with the goal of making the nation’s waters “fishable and swimmable.” Through the state revolving funds, EPA helps communities fund continuing and significant water infrastructure needs. Each state maintains revolving loan fund programs, capitalized by the EPA, to provide low-cost financing for water quality infrastructure projects.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations — home to more than 48 million people. The EPA is also a significant source of funding. In 2013, more than 85 percent of the $631 million regional operating budget flowed to state and tribal agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations and private-sector companies in the form of grants and contracts. This funding pays for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, air pollution reduction programs, Superfund site cleanups and many other activities that protect human health and natural resources.

For more information on EPA Region 9’s State Revolving Fund program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/grants/srf-loan-prog.html