Ecology is proposing to award $282 million in grants and loans for 108 high-priority clean water projects across the state.
This includes 4 local projects with a proposed total of $9.3 million in funding.
The Water Quality Combined Funding Program supports local communities by helping them upgrade wastewater treatment and sewer systems, manage polluted stormwater, and complete a variety of other projects to prevent and clean up more diffuse sources of pollution, also known as nonpoint pollution.
“Support from the legislature for clean water projects is direct support for local communities in Washington,” said Vince McGowan, Ecology’s Water Quality Program Manager. “Local governments and organizations do the on-the-ground work to protect and restore clean water.”
Nearly 90% of the funding the Water Quality Program receives is passed through to local communities for environmental and infrastructure projects. Clean water funding comes from a mix of state and federal funds dedicated for water quality improvements and protection.
State financial managers calculate that 11 direct and indirect jobs are created in Washington for every $1 million spent on building clean water infrastructure. That means this round of grants and loans results in over 3,000 jobs.
Thirty-four projects are set to receive $30 million in grants, forgivable loans (loans that don’t have to be repaid), and low interest rate loans to address nonpoint pollution. Nonpoint pollution has a significant impact on water quality; it comes from diffuse sources instead of an identifiable pipe.
Forty-six communities and port districts will potentially split $42 million in grants and low interest loans to implement projects to manage and reduce stormwater pollution.
Twenty-eight wastewater projects are proposed to receive approximately $209 million in grants, forgivable loans, and low interest loans. Five of the projects qualify for special hardship financial assistance in order to ensure the project can go forward without overly burdensome increases in the sewer bills for residents in these small, financially challenged communities.
A public comment period on the Draft Funding List is open until 5:00pm on February 14.
Please submit comments via the online comment form (eComments).
If you have questions, please contact Daniel Thompson at [email protected] or 360-407-6510 or attend the public meeting we are holding at 1:00pm on February 3 via WebEx.
Final funding is contingent on approval of appropriations in the state’s 2021-2023 Biennial Budget.
Comments received will be responded to during the comment period and notify all commenters when they publish the Final Funding List around July 1.
For more information, including access to an interactive map of funded projects and access to the draft list please visit the Water Quality Combined Funding Program Funding Cycles webpage.
Step 4: Design & Construction