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If your graduation celebration involves balloons, make sure they are secured with a weight. Otherwise, they can float away and come into contact with overhead power lines.Find Out More
Electric mobility seems to be everywhere these days, but does availability equal accessibility? Here at EWEB we’ve determined that the answer is ‘no’ and are working to bridge that gap through EV car shares, community grants and electric bike rebates.Find Out More
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A wrap up of the May 2nd EWEB Board of Commissioners MeetingFind Out More
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Millions of dollars of investment have prevented the major harm from the Holiday Farm Fire, EWEB’s annual State of the Watershed Report finds.Find Out More
EWEB employs multiple methods of safeguarding drinking water, from the source to the tap.Find Out More
The application period is now open for the Electric Mobility Community Grants. Mobility Grants of up to $25,000 will be awared to five nonprofits, schools and academic intitutions, government and other public agencies to cover costs associated with their electric mobility projects.Find Out More
EWEB's Greenpower subscribers voted to award this year's Greenpower Grant to Friends of Trees, a local nonprofit that brings trees to areas of Eugene and Springfield with low tree equity.Find Out More
Today and every day, we celebrate and honor the hard work, innovation and dedication of electrical line workers.Find Out More
The EWEB Board of Commissioners discussed prefunding Leaburg, the 2022 State of the Watershed report, and the General Manager's performance evaluation at their April 4th, 2023 meeting.Find Out More
It’s spring-- the time of year when birds are nesting in our trees. EWEB crews take special care to avoid disrupting birds when they’re trimming trees. But tree trimming is a necessary part of delivering safe and reliable power. We went out with a crew to find out how it's done.Find Out More
February 14, 2023 • Adam Spencer, Communications Specialist
The Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) has secured over $3 million to help McKenzie Valley homeowners repair or replace septic systems damaged in the Holiday Farm Fire.
Eligible grantees can receive up to $35,000, depending on the type of septic systems and household income qualifications.
Improperly maintained septic systems threaten the McKenzie River – the sole source of drinking water for nearly 200,000 people in the Eugene area. Septic systems that leak can contaminate the watershed with unsafe bacteria, provoke harmful algal blooms, and harm fish and wildlife.
EWEB has worked with McKenzie Valley residents for decades to incentivize responsible septic maintenance. With over 535 properties impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire, EWEB is eager to provide this new program with robust, direct financial assistance to help people recover and get their lives back in order.
“Our friends and neighbors upriver have gone through so many challenges in their long journeys recovering from the fire,” said Nancy Toth, an EWEB environmental specialist who coordinates programs to help McKenzie Valley residents take care of the watershed. “With these grants, EWEB and our partners are able to provide meaningful support and take a large financial burden off their lists of concerns.”
EWEB is able to offer these Septic System Repair and Replacement Grants thanks to a collaboration with Lane County and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Onsite Financial Aid Program (OSFAP). Both Lane County and DEQ OSFAP received federal funds from the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) and chose to partner with EWEB to distribute the money to affected residents.
“Lane County and DEQ came to EWEB because of our established track record of enacting meaningful support on the ground,” said EWEB Business Line Manager Anna Wade, who is helping implement the grant program. “Since the Holiday Farm Fire, EWEB has helped folks recover with programs that also protect the watershed and reduce the impacts of future fires.”
To receive Septic System Grant funding through ARPA, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Any changes in ownership that may have occurred after the Holiday Farm Fire may impact landowner eligibility. Applicants who have received other federal disaster assistance may be impacted in their eligibility amounts.
“At this point, we are encouraging everyone in the fire-affected area to apply,” said Misty Merriam, EWEB’s customer programs coordinator, who is helping with applications. “Once you apply, we can match your request to the funds we have available. If we can’t match you with these grants, we can recommend other sources of funding and still help you along.”
EWEB is currently accepting applications and has already matched dozens of people to funds.
For upriver homeowners who have entered into loan agreements with EWEB’s 0% Septic Infrastructure Loan Program since the fire, EWEB will deploy these grant funds to qualifying homeowners to pay off remaining loan balances where applicable.
“We want to make sure that homeowners who have already taken steps to protect the watershed by repairing or upgrading their septic systems are eligible to receive these funds,” Toth said. “Not everyone will qualify, but we welcome all interested homeowners to contact us to see what we can do to support their good stewardship.”
To learn more about the Septic System Repair and Replacement Grants Program, interested landowners can go to the Landowner Assistance page at eweb.org/septic.
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