April 2, 2007

Saskatchewan earmarks $5M for environmental, climate change projects

Saskatchewan is providing a total of almost $5 million to support environmental protection and climate change-related projects. Twenty projects and organizations have been selected to receive the first funding associated with the province's forthcoming Green Strategy.

"This money directly addresses some of the immediate concerns raised by people in Saskatchewan as we put our Green Strategy together," said Premier Lorne Calvert, adding, "In the coming weeks, we will unveil our full Green Strategy and our long-term response to climate change."

Climate change projects and funding allocations include:

*$900,000 to help consumers who meet their own power requirements from sources such as solar or wind to provide power back to the provincial electricity grid, offsetting their energy costs and contributing to a reduction in the need for coal-fired electricity;

*$500,000 to promote increased energy conservation by providing rebates to residential, institutional and commercial customers who install solar water heating systems;

*another $400,000 worth of rebates to help customers conserve water supplies by replacing old toilets with new, water-efficient "low flow" models, plus $240,000 for cost-shared water conservation programs and public education;

*$445,000 for the purchase of a mobile air monitoring laboratory that will be able to collect air quality data from anywhere in the province accessible by road, thus providing more accurate information about air pollution levels;

*$392,500 to support watershed and aquifer protection initiatives and to fund projects to implement source water protection plans for First Nations lands and small communities with high-risk surface waters; and

*$80,000 to help the University of Saskatchewan development THREATS, The Healthy River Ecosystem Assessment System.

*$500,000 to help urban and rural communities to address the management of invasive alien species, conserve biodiversity and protect species at risk;

*$415,000, divided among 16 regional waste management authorities, to set up and/or expand municipal recycling systems in smaller communities;

*$60,000 to provide household hazardous waste collection days in targeted communities;

*$210,000 to support and promote organic agriculture and the consumption of Saskatchewan-grown organic food;

*$20,000 for the development of an integrated urban pesticide management plan; and

*$60,000 to the Craik Sustainable Living Project to enhance public education on regional sustainable growth and diversification.

More information is available from Art Jones at Saskatchewan Environment, 306/787-5796, E-mail art.jones@gov.sk.ca

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