EPA injects funds into Florida’s green initiatives


Aimed to augment Florida’s water quality and to boast the economy by creating sustainable jobs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allocated $1,336,300 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, according to a press release.

This action was initiated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 President Obama signed Feb. 17.

A sum of $39 million in Water Quality Management Planning grants will be distributed nationally to states to help supplement current environmental and economic issues, according to EPA.

“This is the second investment of EPA recovery funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Florida,” Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta said.

Armed with this funding, Florida will be able to pursue additional water quality planning activities which, will strengthen the environment, Meiburg said.

“Communities across the nation can count on green jobs to help pull them out of this downturn and ensure the long-term strength of our economy and our environment,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said.

The aforementioned planning activities are an important step in reaching EPA’s goal of enhancing the water quality in America’s lakes, rivers and streams, according to another press release.

These grants facilitate a vast number of activities such as setting standards, monitoring water quality, developing plans to restore polluted waters and identifying innovative ways to keep Florida’s waters clean.

States are being encouraged to focus the objective of the additional funding on sustainable efforts such as climate change, water availability and low-impact development programs, said an EPA press release.

At least 20 percent of the funds provided under the Recovery Act are to be used for green infrastructure as well as water and energy efficiency practices, according to a press release.

While grants are being awarded to state agencies, some funds are being awarded on regional and interstate levels.

The Recovery Act funds will go to the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving program, which provides low-interest loans for drinking water systems to finance infrastructure advancements, according to another press release.

In addition, the program involves channeling the funds into smaller, more disadvantaged communities and into programs that tackle pollution.

The EPA is granting Americans the right to see how every dollar of this Recovery Act is being distributed at http://www.epa.gov/recovery.