For Immediate Release - March 08, 2010

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY AND CONGRESSMAN FRANK ATTEND GROUNDBREAKING OF $7.9 MILLION STIMULUS PROJECT AT FAIRHAVEN WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY

Fairhaven award part of $185 million released for water infrastructure improvements, energy investments across the state; Projects will create thousands of jobs

FAIRHAVEN - Monday, March 8, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined Congressman Barney Frank for the groundbreaking of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements that will reduce operating costs at the town of Fairhaven's wastewater treatment facilities. The project is financed by $7.9 million in a principle forgiveness loan through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and SRF Green Infrastructure.

The largest portion of this funding will support the biogas/anaerobic digestion with combined heat and power system in Fairhaven. Although utilized for many decades, this will be the second wastewater facility in the state to generate energy by converting sewerage sludge to biogas, burning it to create electricity and heat. Funding will also support three solar photovoltaic rooftop panels, a high-efficiency variable-speed pumps, and motors at the town's Water Pollution Control Facility and the West Island Treatment Plant.

"The federal Recovery Act is all about creating economic activity and putting people to work," said Governor Deval L. Patrick. "With these funds, we are maximizing economic activity by doubling the amount of water infrastructure investment taking place this year, reducing project costs for municipalities like Fairhaven and using renewable energy to reduce operating costs at these energy intensive facilities. I thank Congressman Frank and the rest of the Congressional delegation for delivering for Massachusetts."

"This project is a leading example of investing in renewable energy infrastructure in the Commonwealth, proving yet again that the stimulus program is creating jobs, while also providing significant cost savings," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "I thank our federal delegation, especially Congressman Frank, for their leadership in securing critical funds for this region and helping us promote a healthy, growing regional economy."

"This important project is yet another example of how the Recovery Act is allowing communities like Fairhaven to meet their infrastructure needs, while at same time providing the area with jobs and long term energy savings benefits," said Congressman Barney Frank.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Lieutenant Governor Murray and Congressman Frank also noted that the funding for this project was part of the $185 million in federal recovery funds for water infrastructure improvements and energy investments that Massachusetts received in January. These recovery funds will support statewide construction projects worth nearly $800 million, maintaining and creating thousands of jobs across Massachusetts.

"This is a perfect example of stimulus money being used to grow the green economy and utilize new environmentally friendly and energy efficient technologies," said Senator Mark Montigny. "People are going to be put to work and Fairhaven is going to benefit from this investment for years to come."

"This project will benefit the Town of Fairhaven to improve treatment plant performance and bring into the "green" era. In these extreme economic times that every municipality is experiencing, a new facility together with cost reductions of operating the plant when completed exemplifies the dedication the Town has incorporated to this project," said Representative Bill Straus.

ARRA required, for the first time, that at least 20 percent of new SRF funds be used for "green infrastructure" improvements at water facilities. The ARRA "green infrastructure" requirement was modeled on a previous Massachusetts Energy Management Pilot Project, which identified energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations that could reduce operating costs and emissions of greenhouse gases from municipal wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities. These facilities are highly energy intensive and account for up to 30 percent of municipal electric bills. The Fairhaven green infrastructure project will save the town $300,000 per year in electricity costs and offset about 1,800 tons per year of CO2 emissions---the equivalent of over 7,000,000 miles of travel in a car.

"These challenging economic times could have forced municipalities to delay or give up on much-needed drinking water and wastewater projects. Instead, thanks to Recovery Act funding, even more projects will go forward, creating jobs, protecting public health, and bringing clean energy to our waterworks," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles.

"By including green infrastructure improvements in these treatment plant projects, Massachusetts continues to lead the way in achieving environmental advances," said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Laurie Burt. "Installation of solar, wind, and other advanced technologies will cut energy use at these facilities, reduce operational costs, and shrink the carbon footprint of each community."

Combining state and federal funds, the Commonwealth awards low-interest loans through the SRF, which is administered by the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, a joint effort of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, and the State Treasurer's Office. The SRF comprises two programs: the Clean Water Fund, which has awarded nearly $3.9 billion in loans since 1991; and the Drinking Water Fund, which has awarded more than $975 million to projects since 1999.

For more information on projects funded by ARRA, please visit www.mass.gov/recovery. For more information on specific SRF ARRA projects, please visit www.mass.gov/dep.

###

Follow us on Twitter – View our Photos – Watch our Videos