NEW YORK — EPA has awarded $229 million to New Jersey and $340 million to New York for improvements to wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, according to a press release.

These funds, authorized by Congress in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, were granted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Health (DOH), stated the release.

The release reported that DEP, DEC and DOH will provide the funds to local communities as low- or no-interest loans that will be paid back to the respective states.

Up to 30 percent of the money provided can be awarded as grants to communities rather than as loans, noted the release.

“With climate change, the frequency of severe storms is likely to increase and wastewater treatment and drinking water plant failures become a serious threat to people’s health and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “These funds will help ensure that the basic [infrastructures] needed to protect people’s health are operating even during severe storms.”

You can find the release on New York funding here.

You can find the release on New Jersey funding here.