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E-M:/ MDEQ release on water infrastructure funding

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

March 30, 2005

Contact: Robert McCann
               (517) 241-7397

DEQ Announces More Than $30 million for Clean Water and Infastructure Improvements

The Department of Environmental Quality announced nearly $31 million in new loan commitments to upgrade public drinking water and sewer systems. Through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water Revolving Fund, the state provides low-interest loans to communities to make needed improvements to wastewater collection and treatment facilities and improvements to public drinking water systems. The loans are tendered through the Michigan Municipal Bond Authority.

"As the wastewater and drinking water infrastructures in Michigan continue to age, the demand for assistance like that provided by the revolving fund programs will continue to grow," said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester. "These funds ease the financial burden of necessary system improvements through below market interest rates, and represent a real investment in Michigan's environmental and economic future."

The funded SRF projects include:

* $14,595,000 to the city of Lansing to finance another segment of the city's Long Term Combined Sewer Overflow Control Program targeted towards eliminating the discharge of raw sewage into the Grand River.

* A $2,535,000 loan to the city of Port Huron to continue efforts to address Combined Sewer Overflows within the city.

* A loan of $8,200,000 to the city of Warren, to finance the fourth and last project in a series of improvements to the city's wastewater treatment plant.
These commitments bring SRF financing awarded to Michigan communities to date to over $2.1 billion. These recent projects are strong examples of the commitments being made by local units of government in Michigan to ensure protection of the state's valuable water resources and the public health of its citizens.

The funded DWRF projects include:

* Three loans totaling $4,640,000 to the city of Port Huron for the replacement of deteriorated water mains that have reached the end of their useful life. To date, the city has received nine DWRF loans for this project that total nearly $24 million.

* A $625,000 loan to Oakland County's Independence Township to complete construction of a project involving the addition of news wells and the looping of water mains, as well as the upgrade of treatment and storage components of its public drinking water system.

The improvements financed by these loans will protect the public health of the people in these communities. Since the inception of Michigan's DWRF program in 1998, over $335 million in assistance has been loaned to communities; creating jobs, improving infrastructure, and protecting public health and the environment in each case.

Program interest rates will remain well below open market rates, with Fiscal Year 2005 rates set at 1.675 percent in the SRF and the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Fund, while the DWRF rate has been set at 2.125 percent.


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
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