NEW YORK — EPA awarded $197 million to New York and $74 million to New Jersey to help finance improvements to water projects aimed at protecting public health and the environment, according to a press release.

The funds will be primarily used to upgrade sewage plants and drinking water systems throughout New York and New Jersey, stated the release.

The release reported that the funding, awarded annually, is in addition to the previous $340 million awarded to New York and the $229 million granted to New Jersey.

Since 1989, EPA has granted more than $5.7 billion for water projects in New York and over $2 billion for New Jersey projects, noted the release.

"This funding helps New York [and New Jersey] communities upgrade their drinking water and sewage treatment systems, improving the environment and protecting public health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck.

You can read the New Jersey release here.

You can find the New York release here.