Photo via Greenwood Metropolitan District
Wonder where your stimulus dollars are going? The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $430 million of them to the State of New York for wastewater infrastructure projects. The grant is part of the $4 billion dollars that will be awarded to fund green wastewater infrastructure projects across the country funded under the stimulus bill passed in February.
The state will provide money to municipal and county governments and wastewater utilities for projects to protect lakes, ponds and streams. The EPA says that at least 20 percent, or at least $86 million, of the funds will go to to "green" projects, or "those that involve green infrastructure, improve energy or water efficiency, or that have other environmentally innovative aspects," according to an EPA press release.
The money will be given to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and spent by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation. The EPA made similar announcements about other grants in West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina.
EPA Under the Microscope
The environmental community is closely watching the EPA these days. A new finding on its intentions to regulate global warming is coming soon and on Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA may do a cost/benefit analysis when considering whether protecting water life is worth the cost of retrofitting older power plants, a decision the Washington Post described as a "defeat for environmentalists who had challenged the government's position."
Says the Post:
The court ruled 6 to 3 that such cost-benefit decisions are allowed under the Clean Water Act as the agency moved to require more than 500 older power plants to upgrade the ways they draw water to cool machinery. Water-intake systems kill 3.4 billion fish and shellfish each year, the EPA estimated.
Ironically, the EPA, after being given new authority under the Clean Air Act by the Supreme Court in a decision that went against them in Mass. V. EPA, in 1997, now has the legal power to regulate greenhouse gasses. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said she prefers legislative action, however.