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For the most part, we're still in the very early stages of the stimulus process. Even though a few projects are shovel ready now, most of the funding is still in the allocation process. Highlighting this fact is the news that the EPA has made $565 million available for water projects in its Region 6—so Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Louisiana can all get ready to upgrade their aging water infrastructure.Though what the specific projects will be remains to be determined, the money has been divided between the states, and the process to find suitable projects has begun. It's the stimulus procedure in action, folks. And water management projects are a worthy recipient of stimulus funds—and a significant number of jobs stand to be created for the sake of cleaning up water and making its storage and transport more efficient. Putting people to work for the sake of the environment and the public good? Parts of the stimulus are sounding more like a Green New Deal every day.
"This new funding will provide a much-needed boost to state, tribal and EPA efforts to restore an aging water and wastewater infrastructure," said Lawrence E. Starfield, Acting EPA Regional Administrator. ". . . it will help state and local governments to finance many overdue improvements."
And there are some interesting stipulations made in how the funding will be doled out, too:
At least 20 percent of the Recovery Act water funds EPA grants to states should be used for green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements or other environmentally innovative projects.
Sounds promising to me. Here's to more green flowing out of the stimulus.