News Briefs: EPA Announces Historic Investment Into Puerto Rico Water Projects

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, first responders rescue a small dog that got stuck in a sewer pipe in Portland, Oregon

News Briefs: EPA Announces Historic Investment Into Puerto Rico Water Projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced approval of a $23 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund Puerto Rico water infrastructure projects in Caguas, Coamo, Jayuya, Naranjito and Orocovis. EPA has formally approved work plans that will allow the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources to proceed with the projects under this historic investment.

“When water infrastructure fails, it threatens people’s health and the environment. This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment will improve the lives of Puerto Rico communities facing major water challenges,” says EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a unique and historic opportunity to correct long standing environmental and economic injustices across America. This funding will create jobs while upgrading the island’s aging water infrastructure.”

Anais Vega Rodríguez, secretary for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, says the EPA grant is an important additional step to improve the quality of Puerto Rico waters by allowing the management of a series of polluting sources and renewing deteriorated infrastructure. “Likewise, projects like these are truly essential for environmental protection and contribute to the socioeconomic development of the impacted regions. The close collaboration between EPA and the DNER to solve specific problems will continue with another series of projects during the next years.”

Mayor Helps New Yorkers Save on Overdue Water Bills

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala recently launched a temporary water bill amnesty program to help New Yorkers save up to $150 million of interest when they pay their overdue water bills.

The limited time program will forgive up to 100% of interest when customers pay a portion or all of their outstanding water bills. With nearly 200,000 customers owing a combined $1.2 billion in water bill charges to DEP, this program aims to help New Yorkers both clear their debt and save money, while ensuring that the city can continue to invest in and maintain the city’s critical water infrastructure. 

“As New Yorkers continue to recover financially from the pandemic, we are helping almost 200,000 of our city’s water customers keep up to $150 million in their pockets when they resolve their debts through this water bill relief program,” says Adams. “This water amnesty program will enable property owners to settle their debts at a reduced cost, while providing the Department of Environmental Protection with the necessary funds to operate the city’s vital water supply and treatment system.”

Oregon First Responders Rescue Dog From 6-Inch Sewer Pipe

First responders recently rescued a small dog that got stuck in a sewer pipe in Portland, Oregon. Portland Fire & Rescue reported that the dog had crawled into an exposed 6-inch pipe, according to KPTV News

The rescue crew used a CCTV camera to locate the dog, before trying without success to coax it out of the pipe. After spending a few hours digging and cutting into the pipe, they were able to reunite the dog with its owner.


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