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Governor Perdue Provides Greater Access for Community Infrastructure Loans

Tuesday, December 23, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Atlanta Secures $500 Million Over Ten Years to Improve Sewer System

Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) will be restructured to allow communities across the state greater access to infrastructure loans based on a sliding population scale. The City of Atlanta will have access to up to $500 million dollars over ten years, or $50 million a year, for sewer infrastructure improvements.

"This is not just about Atlanta," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "It is part of my vision for clean and adequate water resources through an environmentally sound statewide water plan. Communities across Georgia will be able to tap GEFA loans for their individual needs."

"Atlanta is responsible for the current state of its sewers because past leaders did not face this problem as it made its way to becoming a crisis," added Perdue. "The state simply cannot bail the city out. It would send the wrong message to other cities in the state. It would tell them that failure to plan and invest wisely in infrastructure would be rewarded."

Lee Thomas, president of Georgia Pacific and former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will join the GEFA board heading up a task force to monitor the Atlanta sewer project. The GEFA Board will work with the EPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to monitor how the funds are spent throughout the design and construction of the Atlanta sewer system.

"Another important impact of this offer will be to allow continued economic development to flourish throughout Georgia," said Perdue.