stimulus monies to help pay for solar panels
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Stimulus monies to help pay for solar panels

An $80 million grant from the federal stimulus will fund improvements to wastewater-treatment plants across the Commonwealth, including here in the Valley.
Augusta County will get $364,964 to go toward the installation of solar panels at wastewater-treatment plant pump stations across the county, according to the office of Gov. Tim Kaine, who on Tuesday accepted a check on behalf of the Commonwealth for $80,203,300 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“Today we not only highlight the financial assistance that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides, but more importantly, the real on-the-ground benefits that result from our investment,” Kaine said at an event at a wastewater-treatment facility in Richmond. “We have worked hard to restore the health of Chesapeake and all Virginia waters, but we also know that we have much more to do. These funds will significantly help us advance our work to reduce pollution from sewage treatment plants.”

This new infusion of money provided by the ARRA will help Virginia and its local governments fund many of the overdue improvements to wastewater projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. Projects planned include:
– Significant progress in eliminating the sewage discharges from Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) systems in Lynchburg and Richmond.
– A reduction in the discharge of nutrients and other pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
– Addressing public health problems in areas of the state not currently served by centralized sewage systems
– Eliminating overflows of raw sewage in communities throughout Virginia
– Promoting the reuse of wastewater by funding six water-reuse projects that will conserve limited water resources as well as reduce the discharge of pollutants to waterways
– Encouraging the use of alternative energy sources such as solar, biogas, and methane.
– Promoting innovative wastewater treatment technology

“Virginia now has the ‘green light’ to fund projects that will protect public health, upgrade infrastructure, and invigorate local economies across the state,” said William C. Early, acting administrator of EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “The additional resources will allow Virginia to provide 100% principal forgiveness for every Recovery Act-funded clean water loan.”
Tuesday’s announcement came as Kaine continues to move his “Renew Virginia” initiative. Renew Virginia is focused on promoting renewable energy, creating green jobs, and encouraging preservation of the environment.

For more information on Renew Virginia, visit www.governor.virginia.gov.

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