The Department of Ecology is awarding $216 million in grants and loans that could support more than 2,300 jobs and improve water quality for communities across the state.
The money will fund 81 high-priority clean water projects that will upgrade wastewater treatment systems and sewer systems, better manage polluted stormwater, and prevent and clean up pollution from diffuse sources.
Nearly 90% of Ecology’s water quality funding is given to local communities for environmental projects. Money comes from a mix of state and federal funds. State financial managers calculate that every $1 million spent on building clean water infrastructure creates 11 direct and indirect jobs in Washington.
Nearly $168 million will help support Puget Sound recovery by improving water quality and creating healthier habitat for the endangered Southern Resident Orca, salmon, and their food web.
“These projects are vital to support and protect our waters and our salmon across the state,” said Ecology’s Vince McGowan, who oversees statewide water quality activities. “I’m proud this funding will help generate jobs while ensuring Washingtonians have clean, safe water now and for future generations.”
Ecology separates projects into three categories, based on the type of pollution they reduce: wastewater from treatment plants, surface runoff from storms, and nonpoint pollution which is runoff or other pollution from a variety of sources.
Of the $216 million being awarded:
- $178 milion in grants and forgiveable and low-interest loans will help fund 34 wastewater projects
- $30 million in grants and low-interest loans will help pay for 26 stormwater projects
- $9 million in grants and low-interest loans will help fund 21 nonpoint projects
For specific project details and highlights, visit the following blogs:
- Northwest Washington counties: Island, King, Kitsap, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom
- Southwest Washington counties: Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, Wahkiakum
- Central Washington counties: Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, Yakima
- Eastern Washington counties: Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman