The EPA has awarded the Alabama Department of Environmental Management $442,600 in Water Quality Management Planning (WQMP) grants. The money is part of President Obama’s stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and part of $39 million given to states as WQMP grants. “This funding will benefit Alabama residents by promoting improved water quality while strengthening the economy through green jobs,” said EPA Acting Regional Administration Stan Meiburg in a May 19 press release. Jefferson County and Birmingham have been proactive in creating new green jobs—both recently ended contracts with the Storm Water Management Authority (SWMA), a move that is more expensive and that will force the municipalities to hire and train their own water monitoring agents (which will take a while, as the Jefferson County Personnel Board is a bit slow; meanwhile, who’s monitoring storm water runoff?). Of course, some SWMA folks will likely be laid off. One step forward, two steps back.