The projects will help modernize water infrastructure, protect public health and increase the resilience of communities
SEATTLE (December 3, 2021) – Today, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced that 39 new projects nationwide are being asked to apply for loans under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). Projects invited to apply for WIFIA funding include seven communities in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The agency predicts that, as funds become available, $ 6.7 billion in WIFIA loans will help fund more than $ 15 billion in water infrastructure projects to protect public health and water quality. in 24 states.
“Far too many communities still face significant water challenges, which makes these transformative investments in water infrastructure so crucial,” said EPA administrator Michael S. Regan. âThe projects invited by WIFIA will provide major benefits such as creating well-paying jobs and safeguarding public health, especially in underserved and underfunded communities. This program is a shining example of the economic and public health opportunities that will be realized under President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.
EPA’s WIFIA program will provide selected borrowers with innovative financing tools to address pressing public health and environmental challenges in their communities. In line with its announced priorities, the WIFIA program makes available $ 1.2 billion in loans to meet infrastructure needs in historically underserved communities. In addition, 14 projects will help protect infrastructure from the impacts of extreme weather events and the climate crisis. New and innovative approaches, including cybersecurity, green infrastructure and water reuse, are included in 24 projects.
WIFIA projects selected to apply in EPA Pacific Northwest Region 10:
- City of Boise, Idaho: $ 272 million for water renewal utilities capital investment projects.
- City of Ashland, Oregon: $ 36 million for a 7 million gallon per day water treatment plant.
- Tualatin Valley Water District (Oregon): $ 16 million for the water supply system improvement program.
- City of Oregon City, Oregon: $ 12 million for water rehabilitation, resilience and improvement projects.
- EPCOR Foothills Water Project Inc. (Oregon): $ 76 million for the Lake Oswego Wastewater Treatment Replacement Project.
- City of Bellingham, Wash.: $ 136 million for the Post Point Resource Recovery Plant Biosolids Project.
- King County (Wash.): Framework agreement of $ 287 million.
By diversifying its geographic scope and the types of borrowers selected, the WIFIA program will also expand the types of projects it supports. For the first time, entities in Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii are invited to apply. Three small communities, with populations of 25,000 or less, are selected for WIFIA loans totaling nearly $ 62 million. Additionally, seven projects submitted by private borrowers and public-private partnerships totaling over $ 1.5 billion in WIFIA funding are included.
Created by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by the EPA. WIFIA’s goal is to accelerate investments in the country’s water infrastructure by providing additional, long-term, low-cost credit assistance for projects of regional and national importance.
Since the closing of the first WIFIA loan in 2018, EPA has announced 63 WIFIA loans that provide more than $ 12 billion in credit assistance to help finance approximately $ 26 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 73 000 jobs and saving taxpayers over $ 4.5 billion.
The EPA received 50 letters of interest from public and private entities as well as state infrastructure finance authorities in response to the WIFIA 2021 funding availability notice and the infrastructure finance authorities of the Status of 2021 WIFIA NOFA. For more information on the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.