Upon the signing of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" (i.e., the U.S. economic stimulus package), I took some time to review the bill in an effort to identify elements relevant to the fluid handling segment. In doing so, I found four key potential areas of impact for fluid handlers: Water & Wastewater Systems, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Environmental Monitoring, and Research & Development. And while the stimulus bill does not, for the most part, note specific projects to receive funding, it does speak generally about the types of applications that are on the priority list for support. From this information, we can draw some conclusions on which fluid handling segments are particularly well positioned for near-term benefit.
Water & Wastewater Systems
The funding most directly related to fluid handling is in the area of water & wastewater systems. Funded water & wastewater initiatives outlined in the bill include: $290 mil. for "Watershed & Flood Prevention Operations"; $1.38 bil. for "Rural Water & Waste Disposal," of which no less than $200 mil. will be allocated for "water-related environmental infrastructure" through the Army Corps of Engineers; and $1 bil. for "Water and Related Resources" through the Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation, of which no less than $126 mil. will be used for certain authorized water reclamation and reuse projects.
Fluid handling systems most benefited: Microfilters, membrane bioreactors, flowmeters, pumps, valves, process analyzers, water & wastewater engineering services.
The Web site www.recovery.gov, a government-operated resource designed to allow citizens to track the allocation of stimulus resources, estimates that $43 bil. of stimulus funds will go to energy-related projects. Some energy allocations that may have some benefit to fluid handlers include: $16.8 bil. designated for "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy," of which $3.2 bil. is for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants. In addition, $4.5 bil. is allocated for "Electrical Delivery and Energy Reliability" for projects related to electricity delivery, energy reliability, modernizing the electric grid, energy security, energy storage, and disruption recovery.
Fluid handling systems most benefited: Hydrogen production/delivery/storage, fuel cells, biomass, performance monitoring, geothermal, methane & carbon capture.
The stimulus bill also provides for a significant amount of funding for environmental projects through the Environmental Protection Agency, including $4 bil. for Clean Water State Revolving Funds grants under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and $2 bil. for capitalization grants under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill also provides for $100 mil. for brownfield projects and $300 mil. for Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants.
Fluid handling systems most benefited: Solid-liquid separators, nanofilters, reverse-osmosis, continuous emissions monitoring.
Research & Development
On the research and development front, the National Institute of Standards & Technology will receive $220 mil. for "Scientific and Technical Research and Services" and $360 mil. for "Construction of Research Facilities." Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will receive $230 mil. for "Operations, Research, and Facilities" and $600 mil. for "Procurement, Acquisition and Construction". The National Science Foundation will receive the largest piece of R&D funding, with $2.5 bil. slated for "Research and Related Activities", $300 mil. of which is slated for the "Major Research Instrumentation" with $200 mil. allocated for "academic research facilities modernization." NSF is also scheduled to receive $100 mil. for "Education and Human Resources" and $400 mil. for "Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction."
Fluid handling systems most benefited: Energy efficiency systems, renewable energy systems, water & wastewater treatment & reuse, environmental monitoring.
To monitor the progress of stimulus-funded projects, visit www.recovery.gov. To read the full text of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," click here.