Millions of Americans will soon see an improvement in the quality of their water. For fiscal year 2017, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program received $25 million in funding, and administrators are ready to start allocating funds.
In total, 43 public and private entities submitted letters of interest to the 2017 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in hopes of receiving funding. After consideration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the following 12 were selected to submit loan applications:
• Miami-Dade County, Florida – Ocean Outfall Discharge Reduction and Resiliency Enhancement Project.
• San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, California – Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities Project.
• Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Missouri – Deer Creek Sanitary Tunnel and Sanitary Relief.
• City of Omaha, Nebraska – Saddle Creek Combined Sewer Overflow Retention Treatment Basin.
• Orange County Water District, California – Groundwater Replenishment System Final Expansion.
• City of San Diego, California – Pure Water San Diego.
• Indiana Finance Authority, Indiana – Indiana Finance Authority FY 2017.
• King County, Washington – Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station.
• Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Maryland – Comprehensive Infrastructure Repair, Rehabilitation and Replacement Program.
• Maine Water Company, Maine – Saco River Water Treatment Facility. (Private)
• City of Morro Bay, California – Water Reclamation Facility Project. (Small Community)
• City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee – Water Treatment Plant Design and Construction.
About the WIFIA Program
The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 created the WIFIA program, which is administered by the EPA. Designed to speed up investments in national and regional water and wastewater infrastructure, selected borrowers can receive loans for up to 49 percent of the cost of eligible projects.
Entities interested in borrowing funds are required to submit a letter of interest highlighting project eligibility, financial information, engineering viability, and adherence to EPA policy initiatives. Applications are evaluated based on weighed selection criteria that reflects the EPA’s mission and priorities, and the successful execution of the WIFIA program.
Those selected to submit an application to the EPA are required to provide documentation to underwrite the loan and to negotiate an individual credit agreement with the agency. WIFIA assistance must be paired with another source of funding, but it offers many benefits to borrowers. Some of these include customized repayment terms and a low, fixed interest rate.
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