On May 31, 2018, the Government of British Columbia will open the application process for local governments and First Nations for the new Environmental Quality program. The program will provide access to funding for projects to improve community infrastructure, thanks to a $243-million partnership between the federal and provincial governments.
“The Environmental Quality program is an extremely important component of our historic infrastructure agreement with the federal government,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “By making smart investments in core services like local drinking water and waste water systems, we’re helping build public infrastructure for the next generation, and making life better for people.”
Examples of projects that will receive funding from this program include improvements to drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure, solid waste diversion, brownfield remediation, and resource recovery, such as methane from wastewater treatment or landfills. These types of projects will help communities build and maintain the infrastructure that people rely on for a high quality of life.
“Local governments and communities are taking on vital projects that will support their natural infrastructure,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We will continue to work with them to provide a clean, healthy environment for all British Columbians, and to reduce greenhouse-gas pollution while creating good family-supporting jobs.”
The Environmental Quality program is the first to be announced under the Integrated Bilateral Agreement between the Province and the Government of Canada under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The agreement commits $3.9 billion in funding for infrastructure projects throughout the province through four funding streams:
- Public Transportation Stream
- Green Infrastructure Stream
- Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream
- Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream
“The Government of Canada is proud to support the Environmental Quality Program, which will bring British Columbians cleaner drinking water and more efficient waste water and storm water management systems,” said the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Thanks to these investments, we are helping safeguard public health, protect regional waterways and support clean economic growth for B.C.’s communities.”
The Province will contribute $110.5 million to the program, while the Government of Canada will contribute $132.6 million. For each project in the Environmental Quality program, the federal government will contribute up to 40 per cent of eligible costs, and the provincial government will contribute up to 33 per cent, with the remaining 27 per cent being the responsibility of the local government.
Combined with local contributions, the Environmental Quality program will provide up to $331 million toward critical environmental infrastructure projects. Beginning May 31, 2018, local governments and First Nations can apply through the ICIP-BC program website: www.gov.bc.ca/Investing-in-Canada-Infrastructure-Program
The Province is administering the program, and will accept funding applications until Aug. 29, 2018. Approvals will be made public in spring 2019.