State offers $5M to protect wastewater treatment facilities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The state is offering $5 million in grants for projects that protect publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities from storm surge, winds and other natural hazards.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced the availability of matching grants for resilience projects on Monday.

DEM Director Janet Coit says strengthening the facilities’ resilience is critically important, due to the changing climate that will continue to bring more intense storms and increased rainfall.

Rhode Island has 19 major facilities that treat about 120 million gallons of wastewater daily.

The department says many are at risk of inundation because they’re at low elevations to take advantage of gravity.

Voters approved a green economy and clean water bond last year, which will fund the grants. The deadline is Jan. 30.

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