Save January 15th for a Special
Webcast on Influencing the stimulus funding at the local level!
ACTION ALERT FOR ON-THE-GROUND RESPONSE TO WATER FUNDING IN THE STIMULUS PACKAGE
As many of you know, Congress is wrestling with specifics about how to funnel money, as part of the economic stimulus package to the states, as soon as the Obama Administration takes over. The hope is to create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country as quickly as possible.
It appears that the initial money will be distributed through existing programs that have the capacity and process set up for grant/loan making.
Unfortunately, this money is likely to come to the states with few, if any, strings attached - which means that there is a great need for all of us to work on the state level to guard against bad projects (e.g. projects that promote sprawl) and promote good projects (e.g. green infrastructure or water efficiency projects).
Clean Water Network is excited to be teaming up with American Rivers and River Network to present a webcast on how you can influence the stimulus funding in your state. Most discussion about delivering money for water infrastructure projects has focused on the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF). Each state has a specific annual process for spending these funds by establishing a Priority Project List. The stimulus money is likely to be directed towards projects on this list. Unfortunately, there may be projects on the list that are not good for your watershed.
In the mean time....
You don't have to wait for our webcast to get started. Because of the speed at which the stimulus package is moving, the sooner you're prepared, the better positioned you'll be to influence how these dollars are spent. Here are a few things you can do before our webcast:
1. Get to know your state's SRF program and its priority project list. This list is usually found in a document called the Intended Use Plan. Sometimes SRF information is hard to find, so be persistent. To help you get started, here are several useful resources:
[Drinking Water SRF overview]
[How the Drinking Water SRF can be used for water conservation and efficiency.]
[River Network's summary on the Clean Water SRF]; and
[EPA's website on green infrastructure]
2. Get in touch with your state's SRF manager and ask them how the state is structuring their SRF program to deal with the additional money from the stimulus package. How can projects be added?
3. Talk to your local and state elected officials about specific priority projects in the Intended Use Plan. Their voices are likely to be heard over yours. You may be surprised to find some green projects you want to encourage or, more likely, bad projects you don't want to see funded.
For more information on what you can do in your community contact Gayle Killam at River Network at (503) 542-8387 or Katherine Baer at American Rivers (202) 347-7550. We will have more information on our webcast, so remember to save the date on January 15th. Have a great New Year's celebration! We look forward to working with all of you in 2009!
Clean Water Network
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