WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will provide grants of $340 million to the state of New York and $229 million to the state of New Jersey for improvements to wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, according to a press release.

The funding announced will help storm damaged communities in both states as they continue to recover from the damage caused by the storm on Oct. 29, 2012.

[Related content: Report details water sector’s response to Superstorm Sandy]

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, wastewater and drinking water treatment systems in New York and New Jersey were so severely damaged that some could not provide safe drinking water or treat raw sewage, stated the release.  

The funding announced will give states the capacity to further reduce risks of flood damage and increase the resiliency of wastewater and drinking water facilities to withstand the effects of severe storms similar to Sandy, noted the release.

[Related content: Hurricane Sandy leaves behind expensive cleanup at sewage plant in N.Y.]

“As communities continue to recover following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, it’s important that their efforts to rebuild our infrastructure such as wastewater and drinking water facilities are approached in a sustainable way,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “These funds are another critical step in the administration’s ongoing effort to help New York and New Jersey recover and move forward in a way that ensures local communities are stronger than ever before.”

Read the entire press release here.