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Hawai‘i to Receive More Than $18 Million to Protect Drinking Water

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today welcomed $18.6 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health and improve water quality in Hawai‘i.  These funds, awarded to the Hawai‘i Department of Health, include a $10.3 million grant for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and an $8.3 million grant for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

“This new funding represents the progress the EPA and the Hawai‘i Department of Health have made to restore Hawai‘i’s eligibility to receive these kinds of federal investments,” said Senator Schatz.  “This significant funding will help modernize our water systems and ensure we have safe, clean drinking water for generations to come.”

The funds will be used to provide loans to counties for upgrades to drinking water and wastewater facilities.  The funding will also be used to modernize aging water systems, and make facilities more energy and water efficient.

In 2014, the EPA found the State Department of Health failed to spend its drinking water funds in a timely manner. Since then, the EPA and the Department have worked together on a corrective action plan.  As a result of that plan, the EPA is now awarding all 2016 funds and continues to work with the State Department of Health to ensure they remain in compliance.