The stimulus has finally passed, and after all the dealmaking, most people are trying to take stock of what's actually in the bill. For environmentalists, it's a bit like Christmas morning — we've been asking and asking as long as we can remember, we've been given hints and promises, and now the day for presents has finally come. So what did we get?
According to Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post, the stimulus "includes nearly $6 billion for local water infrastructure improvements, along with another $6 billion for the environmental cleanup of former weapons-production and energy-research sites."
Other cleanup projects, like the EPA's Superfund, "which has struggled for cash since a tax on polluters expired years ago" will receive about $1.2 billion in the package.
"An additional $1.38 billion in federal funding will support $3.8 billion in loans and grants for water and waste-disposal facilities in rural areas" and "the Fish and Wildlife Service will get $115 million for construction projects, some of which will help restore refuge habitat, and $165 million to manage its natural resources."
Finally, "the Bureau of Land Management will receive $320 million, which will be spent on priorities such as resource management, construction and reducing the risk of wildfires on public land".
The Post also mentions in a separate article that, despite the three quarters of a trillion dollars just spent, another stimulus might be in the works soon. So it seems we should remember, before we shed a tear over what went missing under the tree, that there's always next Christmas.