When President Obama signed the $60 billion Sandy relief package into law back in February, the monies were given specific designations to where and what it would be spent on. The Environmental Protection Agency had claim to the post-Sandy environmental damages. As a result, the bill outsourced the power of the purse to the EPA for a large portion of the initial expenditures.
So, yesterday, they announced that New York would be granted $340 million to rebuild (and renovate) its waterwaste plants and water treatment facilities. Along with a $229 million payment to New Jersey, the EPA just dropped $569 million on the Tri-state area.
After an open comment session with the public, it was decided that the first wave of $1.77 billion for NYC last month would be delivered through various and competitive community development block grants. These were made to rebuild small businesses and, as we learned two weeks ago, fill any repair requests made by residents with wrecked houses in the storm’s aftermath. The grants would cover the economic side of Sandy’s outrageous toll.
Now, with the EPA’s funds, we’ve got the municipal hygiene factor covered–another crucial step in this long recovery process.
“As communities continue to recover following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, it’s important that their efforts to rebuild our infrastructure such as wastewater and drinking water facilities are approached in a sustainable way,” EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said in a press release.
And that’s absolutely amazing news. Why? Because the other day, we found out that the hurricane upchucked 11 billion gallons of our sewage onto the aboveground world. Mother Nature released humanity’s waste into plain sight and now, through governmental action, we’re making sure that doesn’t happen again. Funny how that works.
With that being said, “crucial” is an understatement. Kudos to the EPA for this one.