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Federal Officials Tour South Coast Water, Wastewater Facility Which Needs Major Upgrades

A Ventura water official gives EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley a tour of the city's wastewater facility Wednesday afternoon.

Ventura is seeking state and federal grants to supplement money raised through customer rate increases.

Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley of Westlake Village and EPA Administrator Michael Regan visited Ventura’s wastewater treatment plant Wednesday.

The federal officials toured the South Coast city’s water facilities to get a firsthand look at what needs to be replaced, and what parts need to be upgraded, on the decades old system.

The city recently raised water and wastewater rates as it looks to replace aging facilities. Ventura is hoping to get millions in state and federal aid to fund the repairs.

Congresswoman Brownley says these are the kinds of things the federal infrastructure plans are intended to support. “There’s a lot of money in there for water, and wastewater projects,” said Brownley. “But it’s not enough. We need to continue to do more.”

EPA administrator Michael Regan noted the facility is more than a half century old. “There’s an opportunity to rebuild this platform in a way that’s smarter and more resilient,” said Regan.

The city has identified more than $27 million in unfunded wastewater plant upgrades.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.