In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed it awarded $7.78 million to Delaware for water quality improvement projects that will focus on wastewater and stormwater runoff.

Combined with $1.56 million in matching state funds, the grant will further boost Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program that provides low-interest loans to build wastewater treatment facilities, non-point source and estuary projects, and other water quality management endeavors.

Best known as the CWSRF, the Delaware Water Pollution Control Fund offers these low-interest loans and grants to municipalities, private organizations, nonprofits, and private individuals for projects designed to improve water quality.

Project Selection Process

The funding process for projects to receive financial assistance from the CWSRF begins annually in January. Stakeholders of eligible projects are invited to submit Notices-of-Intent to apply for funding. A project priority list is subsequently created.

After the Water Infrastructure Advisory Council holds a public hearing on the proposed project priority list, a period of public review and comment takes place, then a final list is created. Funding is awarded based on this list during the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

During the summer, a second invitation to submit NOIs is sent out, and if needed, the project priority list is updated. The Council uses the same public review process to approve the new list.

FFY 2020 Projects

In FFY 2020, five new NOIs were received, amounting to $41.21 million. In total, 18 wastewater/stormwater projects — utilizing $81.36 million in CWSRF funding — and three Green Project Reserve projects — utilizing $3.87 million in CWSRF funding — are expected to receive financial assistance. (source)

Project funding is based on respective 2020 project priority list ranking and readiness to get started. Applicants from prior years stay on the funding list until loans are closed or withdrawn by applicants.

Designed for affordable payback, the current interest rate of 1% percent per year went into effect on May 20, 2020. However, a lower interest rate could be offered, if certain criteria is met.

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