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EPA, DOT to Fund Projects Improving the Anacostia River
Release Date: 04/19/2006
Contact Information: Terri White, EPA 215-814-5523 and Josh Cooper, DOT 202-366-4570
WASHINGTON - In a ceremony today marking this week’s 36th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation pledged $1 million to help improve the health of the Anacostia River. The money will fund projects to accelerate environmental restoration of the river and protection of its watershed.
Today’s announcement signifies the agencies’ commitment to work as partners for a better environment. Last year, EPA and DOT’s Federal Highway Administration initiated the Mid-Atlantic Green Highways Partnership to improve transportation-related practices and gain improvements for the environment. The Mid-Atlantic Green Highways Partnership is made up of public and private organizations in the transportation industry and those involved in environmental management.
“This seed money will help grow the partnerships to make the Anacostia one of the greatest urban river restoration and watershed protection stories of the century,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Water. “The nation’s capital is a great place to show how innovation and cooperative conservation can reduce stormwater pollution, advance sustainable transportation infrastructure, and accelerate environmental progress.”
“We are involved in this program because Secretary Mineta is deeply committed to the notion that when you bring federal resources together with local know-how, you can find ways to keep people and products moving in and out of the city while protecting D.C.’s most precious resources like the Anacostia River,” said Jeffrey N. Shane, DOT’s under secretary of transportation for policy.
EPA and DOT made their announcement at the headquarters of the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC), situated on the Anacostia River at the old Capitol Pump House, First Street and Potomac Avenue, S.E. ECC’s site – a converted brownfields site – is behind a newly-constructed portion of the $50 million Anaostia River Walk Trail being constructed by the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation and the ECC. The walk trail will connect Anacostia waterfront neighborhoods around the river from the District to Maryland. Federal, state and local supporters of the river clean-up assembled for the event, which included a boat tour of the river.
EPA and DOT are soliciting proposals from organizations interested in applying for the million-dollar funding. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 19. Up to three grants or cooperative assistance agreements will be selected for funding. At least one selected will have to focus on integrating transportation planning with watershed management. The projects will have a performance period of three to five years.
For more information about the grant funding, go to www.grants.gov or contact Ralph Spagnolo of EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office in Philadelphia at (215) 814- 2718. For more information about the Mid-Atlantic Green Highways Partnership, go to www.greenhighways.org.