Governor Mills: Preserving our clean water, protecting public health, and reducing costs for taxpayers.

Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills.

You know maintaining our water and sewer infrastructure across the state of Maine is so critical to preserving clean water, protecting public health, and reducing costs for taxpayers and ratepayers.

Untreated water can pollute our waterways, threatening the health of wildlife and the health of residents and visitors to our inland and marine waters.

Cleaning the water we use in our homes and businesses before it is sent back into the environment could not be more important, but it is costly.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wastewater operations are typically the greatest energy expense in any community, costing more than $2 billion a year nationally. Upgrading the equipment we use will reduce those energy costs substantially. 

Recently, I was proud to announce that I am dedicating more than $22 million from my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, that’s federal money, to 20 wastewater treatment facilities serving 27 communities across the State of Maine. These funds will speed up these communities’ wastewater infrastructure improvement projects.

Over the next four years, these facilities — from Rockport and Rumford to Anson and Augusta and everywhere in between — will use these grants to repair and replace wastewater infrastructure, improving their operations, and their reliability, their resiliency, and their longevity.

By speeding up these wastewater projects, we will create jobs, we’ll cut costs, and we’ll preserve service for the communities that rely on them.

These funds are in addition to another $20 million in grant funding I’ve already awarded to 13 communities across Maine to invest in a variety of local infrastructure projects and to make them more resilient to the effects of climate change, like flooding, rising sea levels, and more extreme storms.

And, with more than $2.4 billion allocated to the State of Maine from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for drinking and wastewater systems and other projects, these investments are just the start. And they could not be more appropriate as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, drafted, supported, enacted under the tutelage of our own senator, Senator Edmund S. Muskie.

This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.