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EPA Grants $8 Million to Rhode Island for Drinking Water Programs

Release Date: 07/17/2003
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded $8,052,500 to the state of Rhode Island for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program. The state can use the funds to support various drinking water programs within the state and make low- interest loans to public and private community water systems to improve their facilities.

 "This funding will help many Rhode Island communities carry out important projects to make their drinking water supplies cleaner and safer," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office.

Grants to state drinking water revolving loan funds have been made since a 1996 amendment to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act which authorized grants to the states for improving the infrastructure of drinking water systems. This year’s grant to Rhode Island follows grants of $7,789,100 and $7,757,000 in the previous two years.

EPA’s Drinking Water Needs Survey Report from February 2001 indicated that Rhode Island’s drinking water infrastructure requires an investment of $577 million over the next 20 years.

“This low-interest loan program has allowed both small and large suppliers to undertake projects that result in cleaner, safe drinking water supplies,” said Anthony Simeone, executive director of the R.I. Clean Water Finance Agency. “Some suppliers are now inquiring into loans to improve security of drinking water sources, which are fundable under the program. We anticipate that with continued funding by EPA, the net result of the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund will allow the state to meet its clean water goals.”

Examples of past loans from the state revolving loan fund include:

    • $2 million to the Providence Water Supply Board for improved security, including magnetic card access control systems, automated gates, lighting, cameras, alarms and central monitoring facilities.
    • $10 million to the Woonsocket Water Department for tank replacements, meter replacement and transmission main replacements.
    • $200,000 to the Kingston Water District for the rehabilitation of an elevated water storage tank.
    • $300,000 for a new 100,000-gallon storage tank on Prudence Island
    • $200,000 to the Pascoag Fire District in Burrillville for several projects, including a new emergency generator, a new control panel, cleaning and overhaul of a well and 375 feet of a new 8-inch water line.