The goals of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have spilled over into annual appropriations on at least one front.
President Obama has signed the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2996), which funds agencies including the EPA. This year, the agency is receiving $3.6 billion for water-sector infrastructure, including $2.1 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and $1.38 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).
More significantly, it includes a "green" provision from last year's massive economic stimulus bill.
From now on, states must spend one-fifth of their total allocation on green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or other environmental innovation. Additionally, 30% of each SRF must take the form of principal forgiveness, negative-interest loans, or grants to communities that can't afford to pay back conventional loans.
"It's a good thing," says Carl Myers, assistant director of government affairs for the Water Environment Federation. "It's not just for stormwater detention and green roofs, but also for energy conservation and reuse, cogeneration, and water reuse and recycling. It's the types of things that water utilities like to do anyway."