Hurricane Sandy caused substantial damage to wastewater and drinking water treatment systems across the tri-state area. Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to provide a total of $569 million to New York and New Jersey to make wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities more resilient to withstand the effects of future storms.
As Michael Shapiro, EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, pointed out in a media call, “Sewage treatment plants are on the waterfront so are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels.” The funding will be provided through grants to states that will then be distributed primarily to local communities as low or no interest loans.
“Going forward we’re encouraging local governments to submit proposals for green infrastructure and that rely on natural features to prevent flooding,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck in an announcement.
The agency also anticipates that this funding will result in 6,000 short-term construction jobs.