EPA officials are now reviewing whether to award more than $1 billion in cleanup grants to states to help cover the costs of enforcing the Clean Water Act.
The grant awards will be used to help clean up sites across the country and in some cases to purchase the equipment needed to help the states do so.
“EPA is committed to helping the states clean up their waters, but this award is critical to helping them do that,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement Thursday.
“The EPA will be able to use the funds to purchase equipment, staff and support for clean up operations and help state and local governments protect the health and safety of their residents.”
The grants will help pay for the construction of thousands of new clean-up sites nationwide, according to EPA.
The agency also is expected to offer up to $50 million in incentives for states to purchase new pollution-control equipment.
States that have already approved the awards have already begun the process of transferring the money to other states to use to clean up the sites.
The EPA is currently reviewing whether the grants should be given to states that have completed their Clean Water Acts and that can afford to spend the money on cleanup.
A federal judge recently struck down the federal Clean Water Protections Act in a case brought by the state of Arizona.
A spokesperson for the state attorney general, Michael Garcia, said the attorney general has no comment on whether or not to award the grants.