For Immediate Release - May 01, 2009

Patrick-Murray Administration Awards More Than $986 Million in Loans to Fund Drinking Water and Waste Water Infrastructure Projects

Low-cost financing, subsidies from Federal Recovery Act offered for 127 projects statewide

BOSTON - Friday, May 1, 2009 - As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick announced today that more than $986 million in financing and subsidies has been awarded to fund 127 statewide infrastructure improvementstargeting major drinking water and waste water projects. These projects are essential for protecting public health and the environment.

The projects listed under the State Revolving Fund (SRF) program will be eligible for assistance through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as the Obama Administration is making $133 million available for Clean Water SRF projects and $52 million available for Drinking Water SRF projects.

"This represents an immediate and long-term investment in the well-being of our citizens and our Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. "The State Revolving Fund provides critical assistance for improving our water resources infrastructure and, with the help of the Federal Recovery Act, gives an important economic boost to many communities across Massachusetts."

"SRF financing is critical not only to protecting our environment and public health, but also to the quality of life of residents in our local communities," said Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray. "In addition to providing clear health and environmental benefits to residents, this funding will benefit municipalities and ratepayers and help to stabilize local budgets."

Massachusettsawards infrastructure financing under the SRF, which is administered by the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, a joint effort of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the Executive Office of Administration and Finance and the State Treasurer's Office.

The SRF is comprised of two programs: the Clean Water Fund, which has awarded nearly $3.9 billion since 1991; and the Drinking Water Fund, which has awarded more than $975 million in projects since 1999.

The Clean Water SRF funds planning and construction projects, such as waste water treatment plants and upgrades to existing sewer systems. The Drinking Water SRF funds the engineering, design and construction of drinking water projects that protect public health and strengthen compliance with state and federal drinking water requirements.

"Protecting and preserving our drinking water resources is vital to the health of all our citizens in the Commonwealth," said Senator Ted Kennedy. "Governor Patrick has shown a consistent dedication to public health and safety here in the Commonwealth, and I'm proud we're making this investment that will create jobs now and improve water quality in Massachusetts for future generations."

"Clean, safe drinking water should be a right not a privilege, but it doesn't happen on its own. It requires constant monitoring. This investment will provide a much needed economic boost to cities and towns across Massachusetts, while allowing us to maintain our state's excellent track record in ensuring water quality. This is precisely the type of project that we were hoping for when we passed the stimulus funding legislation. I applaud Governor Patrick's commitment to the health and overall well-being of everyone in Massachusetts," said Senator John Kerry.

Congressman John Olver said, "This Recovery Act funding will be a real boost for Massachusetts to begin updating aging water infrastructure. This investment will provide real dividends for healthy communities, clean water and good-paying jobs."

This year the Clean Water SRF list includes 80 projects, totaling more than $744 million. This list identifies $451 million in new projects and $293 million in carry-over projects from prior SRF lists. Among the financed projects are a $64 million upgrade to a waste water treatment plant in Westborough, and a $55.5 million upgrade to a waste water treatment facility and sewage collection system in Chatham.

The Drinking Water SRF list includes 52 projects, totaling nearly $242 million. This list identifies $112 in new projects and $129 million in carry-over projects from prior SRF lists. Among the financed projects are the construction of a new $22 million water treatment plant in Framingham, and an$18.5 million water treatment plant construction in Woburn.For a full listing of the 127 projects funded under the 2009 SRF program, turn to: http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/wastewater/wastewat.htm#cwsrf

"These water infrastructure projects will create jobs and improve the environment," said Treasurer Timothy Cahill. "I encourage cities and towns to move quickly to take advantage of the subsidies provided by ARRA funds."

"SRF financing is the life blood that helps to keep essential infrastructure operating," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. "This year, its importance is even more evident as 28 more projects than last year have been selected, bringing $446 million more into local communities compared to last year's SRF list. The Recovery Act funds will also help us subsidize loans for local 'shovel-ready' projects."

"The investment of millions of dollars in our water resource infrastructure provides residents of the Commonwealth with essential public health and environmental protection that is the very foundation of our quality of life," MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt said. "With increased subsidies from the Recovery Act, communities will save millions of dollars over the life of the projects, as the projects stimulate the local economy and put people back to work again."

To be eligible for Clean Water or Drinking Water SRF funding, municipalities, waste water districts and water suppliers filed applications with MassDEP last year demonstrating that the proposed projects offer significant public health or drinking water quality benefits. The 127 projects on the awards list must now obtain local funding authorization by August 1, and submit final plans and specifications by August 1 to qualify for Recovery Act "shovel-ready" funding. Projects that fail to qualify for Recovery Act funding will be awarded 2 percent loans and must submit their plans and specifications by October 1.

Investments in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

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