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EPA invites 55 new projects to apply for WIFIA loans to improve water quality

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Tue, Jan 12th 2021 01:20 pm

Projects will provide water infrastructure upgrades for 30 million Americans while creating 40,000 jobs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 55 new projects in 20 states are being invited to apply for approximately $5.1 billion in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. This funding will help finance over $12 billion in clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects to protect public health and improve water quality in communities across the U.S.

In New York, $24 million is earmarked for the Erie County Water Authority strategic plan improvements project.

“EPA built one of the greatest financing tools for investing in America’s water infrastructure in history when it stood up the WIFIA program in 2018,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “These 55 new projects will facilitate $12 billion in water infrastructure to help address some of the most pressing challenges faced by water systems across this country.”

Since the first WIFIA loan closed in 2018, EPA has announced 41 WIFIA loans that are providing $7.8 billion in credit assistance to help finance $16.8 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 38,800 jobs and saving ratepayers $3.7 billion. EPA received 67 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2020 WIFIA notice of funding availability (NOFA). After a robust statutorily required review process, the WIFIA selection committee chose 55 prospective borrowers’ projects to submit applications for loans and placed three prospective borrowers on a waitlist.

The WIFIA program is expanding its geographic scope by inviting entities from Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia for the first time. Four prospective borrowers that submitted letters of interest in response to a previous WIFIA NOFA resubmitted them for 2020 and have been invited to proceed in the 2020 funding round. Seven borrowers who have already received a WIFIA loan or are in the process of closing a loan have been invited to apply for additional financing. This action complements EPA November 2020 announcement that California, Iowa and Rhode Island were invited to apply for a total of $695 million in loans through EPA’s new state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program.

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