By Wes May
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent the state California $174 million in federal funding to invest in water infrastructure projects to improve the quality of water coming out of the tap as well as reduce water pollution.
The California Department of Public Health received a $79 million grant for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the California State Water Resources Control Board received a $95 million grant for its Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
The funding will provide low-cost loans for both drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades statewide, paid for by water districts and other government agencies, who in turn bill their customers to repay the loans from the various revolving funds.
“In the last 26 years, EPA has provided more than $4 billion in funding for California water projects alone,” says Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Without this investment at the federal level, many communities would not be able to satisfy Californians’ basic needs for clean and safe drinking water.”
Projects previously supported by the State Revolving Funds include a $34 million loan to Los Angeles County for the construction of a new pumping plant and renovating aging water mains and an $11 million loan to the city of Lathrop to construct an arsenic treatment facility, improve wells and lay down new water mains for over 16,000 residents.
The funds are used for a wide variety of water quality projects, including nonpoint source pollution control, watershed protection or restoration, water and energy efficiency projects, wastewater reclamation, drinking water infrastructure improvements, technical assistance, and traditional municipal wastewater treatment projects.
CARB 2014 Diesel Compliance
While the California Air Resources Board staff is mulling changes to the on-road heavy-duty diesel regulation, you still have compliance requirements with the existing rule.
In November the agency released a compliance advisory for 2014 “that will allow owners to report and take advantage of anticipated changes until they are considered by the Board in early 2014” (April is the anticipated date but it could slide).
The staff is offering something of an escape clause for truck owners who have reported under the current rules, allowing extra compliance time, saying in the November advisory: “In the event that the proposed amendments differ from those identified above and impact a fleet’s ability to comply with the regulation, ARB staff will provide fleets that have reported their intent to use these options additional time beyond the Board’s April 2014 meeting to come into compliance.”