In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water infrastructure, and protect human health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved billions of dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to help various state and local governments finance many of the overdue improvements to water quality and wastewater projects.

The ARRA specifically includes $7.22 billion for projects and programs administered by EPA. These programs will protect and promote both green jobs and a healthier environment, the agency says.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund includes $4 billion for assistance to help communities with water quality and wastewater infrastructure needs, and $2 billion for drinking water infrastructure needs. A portion of the funding will be targeted toward green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, and environmentally innovative projects.

EPA has also pledged nearly $39 million nationally to states for Water Quality Management Planning grants.

President Barrack Obama signed ARRA Feb. 17, and has directed the Recovery Act be implemented “with unprecedented transparency and accountability”. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.

For regional water infrastructure news, visit www.epa.gov.