Michigan Tech is the Environmental Protection Agency’s top choice to locate its new Region 5 Environmental Finance Center.
The center will provide outreach, training, research and technology transfer to local agencies.
Region 5 Environmental Finance Center Director Tim Colling said, “Our focus for the center is primarily going to be to look at environmental infrastructures—so, water systems, sewer systems, storm water systems, recycling systems—and, basically, work with local governments that own those systems to bring asset management concepts into the management of that infrastructure and bring good financial practices into the management of those types of infrastructure systems.”
Representatives from the EPA toured the Great Lakes Research Center Wednesday to see first hand the capabilities of Michigan Tech.
EPA Water Infrastructure & Resiliency Finance Center Director Jim Gebhardt said, “The advantage that we’re seeing thus far is that they seem to have a panoply of resources, not only the folks who are basically responsible for managing a running a finance center, but also the other departments that they have here at the university seems to add a lot of value and texture and I think it’s going to broaden out their capabilities.”
Region 5 covers Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio, so the Keweenaw is the ideal spot.
Colling said, “Ironically, Michigan Tech is quite centrally located in the region, which is something, being up in northern Houghton, is not something we usually say—that we’re centrally located. So, for Region 5, we’re actually right in the center of the region.”
Michigan Tech is the recipient of a $5.6 million grant from the EPA for the center, which is expected to up and running in a couple of months.