EPA Region 3
Topic: Wilmington, Del. Recovery Act Progress
Date: April 23 , 2010
Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin: This is exactly what we had envisioned when we provided monies to our states. We are extremely pleased and happy of the outcome, and it was real enjoyment being at that event and highlighting this very important project.
Host Lena Kim: It couldn't have been said any better. That was Shawn Garvin, following an ARRA, or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, milestone visit to Wilmington, Delaware. Hi, I'm Lena Kim and welcome to Environment Matters, our series of podcasts.
Shawn went on to describe the meeting and the environmental and financial impacts of the Recovery Act in Wilmington.
Mr. Garvin: Today I did join Mayor Baker and some members of the Wilmington City Council, as well as U.S. Senator Ted Kauffman and Secretary Rita Landgraf from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, to highlight a Recovery Act drinking water project that the city of Wilmington has just completed. Under our 19.5 million dollars that the state of Delaware got under the Recovery Act for drinking water, 8.9 of it went to the city of Wilmington to not only replace and include some drinking water conservation technology in their pipes, but also to add solar panels to their filtration plant--which is amazing use of the funding and, by all definition, an extremely green project not only for the citizens of the city of Wilmington and their water users benefiting from this new system, but they're also saving money by using renewable energy as well as helping to protect against climate change by going solar, not standard electricity. This is exactly what we had envisioned when we provided monies to our states. We are extremely pleased and happy of the outcome, and it was real enjoyment being at that event and highlighting this very important project.
Lena: Shawn, are there other environmental projects in the First State being supported by Recovery Act dollars?
Mr. Garvin: Actually, Delaware received a great deal of funding. 39 million dollars of it was for clean water and drinking water projects throughout the state--Kent County, Sussex County, and New Castle County also had projects in which protecting against water discharges from wastewater treatment plants, better management of wastewater treatment plants, replacement of drinking water lines and facilities throughout the state as well as additional funding that went to the state to address Brownfileds and Superfund sites and address diesel emissions that impact our communities. We had a whole number of dollars that went into the state that help create jobs and protect human health and the environment.
Lena: And are these green projects typical of how Recovery Act funds are being used throughout the region in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia?
Shawn: The region through the Recovery Act provided approximately 675 million dollars to the jurisdictions throughout the region. These encompass drinking water and clean water projects in Pennsylvania, a leaking underground storage tank site in which the city working with the town and the state came in to address these tanks to help protect against leakage and contamination to drinking water supplies. As well as set up a dynamic that the site could be put back in productive use. So that it not only created jobs in the short term, it was setting up a dynamic which economic development could occur to provide jobs to the town in the future.
Lena: The regional administrator concluded his remarks with a few words about how successfully the Recovery Act is working in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Mr. Garvin: I think that we have a number of successful projects, I think that we have a number of projects that are still to come that are very intriguing and very exciting and are going to have great benefits to both job creation and environmental protection. I'm particular proud of the fact that in the Mid-Atlantic region 100% of our drinking water and clean water projects are under contract. Some of them have been completed like the city of Wilmington water project, some of them are yet to come but are on the doorstep of having construction activity underway. We really look forward to that and so the Recovery Act has created and will continue to create both additional jobs for construction but as I said, there's a great deal of economic development opportunities that's going to come out of some of the projects that this effort has helped to fund.
Lena: For more information, please see our website at www.epa.gov/recovery. Thanks, Shawn, and thanks to our listeners for joining us on Environment Matters, our series of podcasts.