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U.S. EPA awards Hawai'i Department of Health $10 million for water projects

Release Date: 4/28/2004
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

HONOLULU - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri awarded a $10.2 million EPA grant to the Hawai'i Department of Health for water pollution control projects.

The Department of Health will use the funds to provide low-cost loans to the counties for wastewater treatment and infrastructure upgrades. In Hawai'i, most of the infrastructure for wastewater treatment is in the coastal zone.

"We are working with the state of Hawai'i in developing loans for projects to decrease the effects of non-point source pollution and improve watersheds," said Nastri. "We commend the state on its first loan commitments with the counties of Kauai and Hawai'i to remove county park cesspools."

The EPA has awarded $149 million in federal funding for Hawai'i's Clean Water State Revolving Fund program from 1990 to 2003. The state has provided matching funds for these awards totaling $29 million. A total of 45 wastewater treatment projects have been funded statewide totaling $222 million and two nonpoint source projects for $3.9 million.

The state has seven more loan commitments to fund a total of $78.5 million in projects next fiscal year. Every year, funds become available as the principle, interest and fees are repaid to the fund. Hawai'i's Clean Water State Revolving Fund totaled $334 million last year.

The revolving fund program was created in 1987 to replace the federal Construction Grants program. The current program is available to fund a wide variety of water quality projects including nonpoint source, watershed protection or restoration, and traditional municipal wastewater treatment projects.

Each state maintains revolving loan fund programs, capitalized by the EPA, to provide independent and permanent sources of low-cost financing for water quality infrastructure projects.