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A first for Colorado: State gets $100 million for jobs, environment

INDenverTimes.com
Denver, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado “-Colorado received a big fiscal boost Friday when the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled an award of nearly $100 million in environmental stimulus funding.

The money, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that President Obama signed in Denver on Feb. 17, is the first EPA-related environmental stimulus grant to be awarded in the nation.

In addition, the EPA, in a ceremony at its regional office in Denver, announced the availability of $7.3 million for competitive clean diesel grants. These grants, available to qualified applicants through April 28, would be dispersed in the EPA region that comprises Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.



Carol Rushin, EPA acting regional administrator, outlined the total package of environmental stimulus money coming to Colorado under the recovery act. Included is more than $65 million for improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The EPA is also considering proposals for millions of dollars to clean up Superfund sites and about $2.5 million to replace leaking underground storage tanks.

“This is how we create new, green jobs while we protect human health and the environment,” Rushin said. “The recovery act will put Colorado to work by improving water infrastructure, cleaning up and redeveloping Superfund . . . sites, and developing clean diesel technologies that bolster the state’s economy. These projects not only create and protect jobs, but cut costs and increase demand for raw materials, goods and services across the state.”



Rushin and Jim Martin, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, also announced a $1.73 million grant for clean diesel projects. The department will use the funds to retrofit school buses throughout Colorado. This grant also will help fund the purchase of hybrid-diesel electric school buses.

State and local governments, nonprofit organizations and tribal agencies receiving this funding will help create jobs and protect communities and the environment from diesel emissions, the EPA said.

“This week, we have had three announcements of new businesses and new jobs through wind turbines, solar technology and water technology. We know that the New Energy Economy means a healthy economy and a healthy environment,” said Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien.



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