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The largest ARRA programs under environment agencies are the State Revolving Funds for financing investments in drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. Massachusetts' Department of Environmental Protection -- with the approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- has allocated all $185 Million of the ARRA Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) money to 128 projects across the state. Municipalities are now completing permitting and bonding necessary to receive these funds by the February 2010 deadline.
SRF is a low-interest loan program that helps make major investments in water infrastructure facilities affordable for municipalities and regional water districts. Under ARRA, as well as new Massachusetts legislation enacted in July to comply with ARRA requirements, financing under ARRA SRF will include both loans and grants for "green infrastructure" retrofits that will save municipalities money at these energy intensive facilities through energy efficiency and renewable energy. The 128 projects reflect $950 Million in total financing that been approved once permitting/bonding is completed by municipalities. 45 projects worth more than $220 Million have already broken ground and begun construction this fall.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also awarded $85 Million from the federal Superfund to clean up hazardous waste at three Massachusetts sites. These funds will clean up New Bedford Harbor, the Hatheway & Patterson site in Mansfield and Foxboro, and Silresim Chemical Corp. site in Lowell, all to ensure that these sites are suitable for future economic development and recreation.
Massachusetts has launched an ambitious $54 Million plan for the State Energy
The Commonwealth has also launched a competitive $15 Million High Performance Buildings Grant Program. This program dovetails with President Obama's focus on significant energy efficiency retrofits as well as the state's recent landmark agreement that will make Massachusetts the number one state in achieving energy savings through energy efficiency. The Program will support projects that demonstrate dramatic increases in energy efficiency in public and private buildings across the Commonwealth, resulting in significant fuel savings. In addition, $70 Million worth of retrofit projects will begin this quarter. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is also working with the Division of Capital Asset Management to leverage $15 Million in Recovery Act funding for $200 Million in energy efficiency retrofits for state buildings.
In the coming quarter, DOER will also use $14.7 Million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants to invest in clean energy technology and energy code training in municipalities. In addition, $6.2 Million in Energy Efficient Appliance Rebates will encourage consumers to replace old, inefficient washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers with high-efficiency models.
Massachusetts has also received $25 Million in ARRA funding to accelerate development of the Wind Technology Testing Center, a joint venture between the National Renewable Energy Lab, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, UMass, MIT and other partners. This center, located in Charlestown, will create hundreds of construction jobs, as well as become the international epicenter for the testing of the next generation of large wind turbine blades.