News Briefs: Residents Evacuated After Chlorine Leak at Virginia WWTP

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the U.S. EPA announces a $132 million Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment for important work to protect and restore estuaries of national significance

A hazmat situation in Farmville, Virginia, recently caused the state’s Department of Emergency Management and members of the local fire department to issue an evacuation order near the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

An issue related to storage cylinder piping caused a chlorine release at the plant. VDEM stated that the valves on the suspected cylinders were closed, which eliminated the leak.

Pennsylvania Governor Announces Water Investments

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced the investment of $269 million for 11 drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and non-point source projects across 10 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST).

“The concerted effort to improve our nation’s infrastructure puts into focus the importance of investing in the many facets of our infrastructure, including water infrastructure,” says Wolf.  “Pennsylvanians have been leading the way in making responsible, reliable infrastructure improvements for years and this administration has been a proud partner to those communities. These investments will result in generational change to our clean water facilities and are representative of the many efforts of this administration to prioritize environmental stewardship and advancement.”

Major Funding Announced for EPA’s National Estuary Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced an unprecedented investment of $132 million from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over the next five years for important work to protect and restore estuaries of national significance, funding projects to address climate resilience, prioritize equity and manage other key water quality and habitat challenges across 28 estuaries along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan highlighted the historic investment during a visit to Caño Martín Peña tidal channel in the San Juan Bay Estuary system as part of his Journey to Justice tour visit to Puerto Rico.

“I’m engaging directly with communities who will benefit from the work we will do thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the message is clear – it’s about time,” said Regan. “Communities have been waiting for far too long. This funding is an important investment in equity, clean water and resilience for some of our most treasured water resources.”

The National Estuary Program is a place-based program that, since 1987, has funded projects that restore water quality and ecological integrity across 28 estuaries of national significance. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will accelerate work on Comprehensive Conservation Management Plans, which are structured frameworks for protecting and restoring estuary resources and meeting water quality needs.


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