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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is thumping its chest after receiving a 33 percent funding increase from the Senate. Cities and counties would benefit from grants to improve aging water and sewer systems.
The Senate approved the extra money as part of a $32 billion appropriations bill. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.Much of the 33 percent increase would go for grants to cities and counties for safe and clean drinking water projects, notes Larry West at About.com.
The funding increase would ease a backlog of projects and create some green jobs, the AP reports.
The big $32 billion appropriations bill is being criticized by the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense for including almost $250 million in earmarks.
At least many of those reportedly went for pet projects with a green tint, to replace water and sewer lines and fix up parks and wildlife refuges.
A Top Ten list from the Taxpayers group lists earmarks for projects in Ohio, California, Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii and West Virginia.
Up next: The bill goes to conference committee. The House approved a version earlier this year.