PUGET SOUND RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDING, PUGET SOUND WATER QUALITY AUTHORITY SAYS
PUGET SOUND RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDING,
PUGET SOUND WATER QUALITY AUTHORITY SAYS
OLYMPIA, Wash., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A bill providing $400,000 in federal funding for the cleanup and protection of Puget Sound was signed into law today, Puget Sound Water Quality Authority said.
Through this federal budget amendment, an additional $1 million will be allocated to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the National Estuary Program. Those estuaries that have approved estuary plans -- Puget Sound and Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts -- will each receive $400,000. The remaining $200,000 will be allocated to other estuary programs that develop protection plans during the next year.
Puget Sound was designated an "Estuary of National Significance" in 1988. Since that time, EPA and the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority have been working together under a joint agreement to preserve and protect Puget Sound. In 1991, the Puget Sound Water Quality Management Plan was approved by EPA Administrator William Reilly as the federal Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Puget Sound. It become the first estuary plan in the nation to receive such approval.
"We view this as significant progress," said Nancy McKay, executive director of the Authority. "Prior to this, funding for Puget Sound Plan implementation was never specifically included in the federal budget. As a line-item budget allocation, it is likely that Puget Sound and other estuary programs will continue to receive federal funds for implementation.
"To make the permanent protection of Puget Sound water quality a reality, a long-term funding partnership must be forged among federal, state and local governments," McKay added.
The $400,000 allocation is for fiscal year 1993. Administered by EPA, the funds will be used for Puget Sound Plan implementation. These funds could be used to help implement the Puget Sound ambient monitoring program, fund high-priority research projects and environmental education programs, help implement the state's new sediment management standards, or provide technical assistance or grants to local governments to protect shellfish resources, reduce nonpoint source pollution, and carry out new federal and state rules for stormwater management.
Last spring, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., and McKay testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee seeking line-item funding for Puget Sound.
/CONTACT: Gretchen Hanna of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, 206-493-9171/ CO: Puget Sound Water Quality Authority; Environmental Protection
Agency ST: Washington IN: SU:
LM-SC -- SE011 -- 7655 10/07/92 19:17 EDT