Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson announced today that Ohio has secured grant funding that will help launch an important project to bring clean drinking water to approximately 52 households in Vinton County.
The $799,000 grant will help fund the engineering and construction of an extension of Jackson County Water Company’s service lines into the Garrett Ridge area of Vinton County, which currently does not have access to safe, reliable drinking water.
“There is an immense need for improved water infrastructure all across this state, and my administration has put great focus on securing the resources needed to help our local communities with costly water projects,” said Governor DeWine. “I believe that no matter where you live, everyone should have easy access to clean drinking water, and this is another step toward that goal.”
In addition to the expanded service, the system upgrades also will benefit at least 127 existing households, providing improved water pressure. Approximately $452,000 of the grant will be directed toward the planning and engineering of the project and the remaining funds will support future construction costs.
The funding is being awarded through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). WIIN provides federal assistance to underserved communities that have no household drinking water services.
“It is a priority for Ohio EPA to leverage all available federal and state resources toward expanding community access to safe, reliable drinking water,” said Director Stevenson. “This WIIN grant is a win for families in Vinton County, as we can now begin the design and engineering phase that will bring us one day closer to having drinking water services extended to these families.”
“Every American should have access to clean, dependable drinking water, but many communities do not have the resources to expand water service on their own,” said U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “With assistance from EPA programs like Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation, communities have an opportunity to build a healthier, more secure future for their residents.”
Today’s announcement is part of Governor DeWine’s overall work to reduce or eliminate the financial burden associated with critical water infrastructure needs. Last year, he worked with the Ohio General Assembly to invest $250 million from the American Rescue Plan Act into water infrastructure projects in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. A core component of Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative also puts focus on helping local communities with costly water infrastructure needs.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.