EPA to invest $7.5 billion to upgrade water infrastructure across the country

(UI) — On Thursday, Sept. 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $7.5 billion in available Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding. This low-interest loan program helps communities invest in drinking water and stormwater infrastructure while saving millions of dollars and creating good-paying local jobs. To date, the EPA’s WIFIA program has announced $19 billion to help finance 109 projects across the country. These projects are creating over 60,000 jobs.

This announcement initiates the EPA’s 7th round of WIFIA financing with $6.5 billion available through the WIFIA program and $1 billion available through the State WIFIA (SWIFIA) program, which provides loans exclusively for State infrastructure financing authority borrowers. The EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for both WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. Prospective borrowers can also receive technical assistance to develop a funding request that meets the WIFIA program’s requirements. This assistance will help small and disadvantaged communities benefit from WIFIA funding.

For this new round of funding, the EPA has identified priority areas such as: increasing investment in economically stressed communities; making rapid progress on lead service line replacement; addressing PFAS and emerging contaminants; mitigating the impacts of drought and supporting water innovation and resilience.

Using previously announced funding, EPA has awarded WIFIA loans to benefit dozens of communities, including:

  • Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority in Pennsylvania closed a $52 million WIFIA loan to upgrade and replace aging water infrastructure to ensure that residents and businesses can rely on safe drinking water.
  • Polk Regional Water Cooperative in Florida received $305 million to sustain the local drinking water supply and alleviate the strain on the Upper Floridan Aquifer.
  • City of Santa Cruz, California closed a $128 million WIFIA loan to upgrade their drinking water system to be more resilient to drought and climate change.
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in California closed a $369 million WIFIA loan to enhance resiliency to seismic events and climate change and reduce the risk of combined sewer overflows.
  • New Jersey Infrastructure Bank closed a $500 million SWIFIA loan that will help modernize drinking water systems serving over 10 million people throughout New Jersey.

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan program administered by the EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost, supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs for local communities.

This new funding builds off last year's success, when 42 borrowers were selected to apply for WIFIA funding. Since implementing the project selection process on a rolling basis last year, a wider variety of borrowers have been selected for WIFIA financing, including 17 small and disadvantaged communities. Two prospective borrowers received technical assistance last funding round and are now positioned to submit WIFIA loan applications.

“When we invest in water, we support healthy people, economic opportunity, environmental protection, and good-paying local jobs,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.


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