STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
PHIL BRYANT, GOVERNOR
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
TRUDY D. FISHER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2009
Contact: Robbie Wilbur 601/961-5277
MDEQ ANNOUNCES $5.8 MILLION IN WASTEWATER FUNDING FOR PEARL RIVER COUNTY UTILITY AUTHORITY

(Jackson, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced today that the Pearl River County Utility Authority has been approved for a subsidized low-interest loan of $5,887,394 for wastewater infrastructure improvements. The funding is being made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and the Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Fund Program (WPCRLF) administered by MDEQ. The ARRA portion of the funding is a loan subsidy which will not have to be repaid. The WPCRLF portion will be repaid at a 1.75 percent interest rate over 20 years.

“We are pleased to award these funds to Pearl River County. The Utility Authority and other local leaders worked diligently to produce an outstanding application. Properly constructed and maintained wastewater facilities are integral to protecting our environment and the public’s health, and we know this infrastructure will be of great benefit to the citizens of Pearl River County,” said Trudy Fisher, MDEQ Executive Director.

“I wish to thank everyone who has been involved getting this project to this point. The residents of Hide-A-Way Lake can expect to see a vast improvement in the treatment of wastewater for their subdivision in the near future. Once the system is completed, it will not only contribute to increased property values, but will also improve public health,” said Steve Lawler, President, Pearl River County Utility Authority.

The Pearl River County Utility Authority will receive $5,887,394 for the Hide-A-Way Lake Low Pressure Sewer System which includes 89,000 linear feet of 1.5 through 12 inch pressure sewer, 247 grinder pumps, and other related equipment. The WPCRLF amount is $887,394 and the ARRA amount totals $5,000,000.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) appropriated $4.0 billion for Title VI EPA Capitalization Grants to the states’ Clean Water State Revolving Funds. Mississippi’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Fund (WPCRLF), administered by MDEQ, received $35,308,350. ARRA funds will be used, along with base WPCRLF Program loan funds, to jointly fund projects with the ARRA portion of each award in the form of a loan subsidy

Prior to final passage and enactment of ARRA, MDEQ conducted a comprehensive outreach campaign to alert potential borrowers of the possible availability of federal economic recovery stimulus funding. MDEQ then amended the FY-2009 WPCRLF Intended Use Plan to implement the funding in the most efficient manner, while providing the most benefit to the state. Details on the application and award process are in the amended Intended Use Plan which is available at: http://www.deq.state.ms.us/MDEQ.nsf/pdf/SRF_FY-09IUPAmendment1/$File/IUPFY-09AmendmentNo1FINAL.pdf?OpenElement.