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EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler Visits Denver and Announces New WIFIA Funding

03/29/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov )

DENVER  - Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited Denver, Colorado where he announced new funding for the Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and delivered the keynote address to the American Bar Association's Environmental Law Conference.

“While touring the Denver Water Recycling Plant, I saw firsthand the innovative approaches that communities in the West are taking to solve their water challenges. EPA’s new round of WIFIA financing can provide up to $6 billion for states to use to address their unique water issues, improve public health protections, and create jobs,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “It was also a privilege to visit with EPA’s Region 8 staff and see the important work they’re doing to address the needs of the local communities and continue our progress cleaning up some of the nation’s most complex Superfund sites.”

Administrator Wheeler began his trip by delivering the keynote address to the American Bar Association's Environmental Law Conference where he discussed the need for America to strive to provide the best available practices to countries around the world on energy and clean water issues. He then met with the Western Energy Alliance and held a roundtable discussion regarding air quality issues impacting the West and how the Trump administration is committed to providing regulatory certainty while improving environmental outcomes.

Later, the Administrator met with EPA Region 8 officials to discuss issues impacting one of EPA's largest regions. He met with the Region 8 risk communication work group, which helps identify how to properly communicate risks to Region 8 residents in cases of emergencies or natural disasters. He also met with regional Superfund officials to discuss the ongoing progress in cleaning up the Silver Bow Butte and Anaconda sites in Montana.

“I’m glad to have Administrator Wheeler come visit the Denver area so show him first hand the innovation Colorado has shown with regard to water reuse,” said Senior Counselor for Regional Management and State Affairs Doug Benevento. “The Trump Administration will continue to prioritize providing clean water to all Americans and EPA will continue to work with our state and local partners to achieve this goal.”

Finally, Administrator Wheeler officially announced the newest round of funding availability for the WIFIA program while visiting the Denver Water Recycling Plant. The Agency will be providing $6 billion in loans to leverage $12 billion in infrastructure funding from public and private sources. Administrator Wheeler then toured the plant which processes water for reuse by Denver residents. Under the new round of funding water reuse projects can now qualify to receive the WIFIA loans. 

“In the semi-arid west, Denver Water has been a leader in investing in ways to make our limited water resources stretch as far as possible for a resilient and reliable water supply in the future, and we were honored to showcase our Recycling Plant as an example of what forward-thinking infrastructure looks like,” said Mike King, chief External Affairs for Denver Water. “We support the EPA’s efforts to provide funding for water infrastructure.” 

EPA Administrator Wheeler in Denver, Colorado, March 29, 2019EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler delivers the keynote address to the American Bar Association's Environmental Law Conference in Denver, Colorado. 

EPA Administrator Wheeler in Denver, Colorado, March 29, 2019Administrator Wheeler meets with the Western Energy Alliance to discuss agency priorities. 

EPA Administrator Wheeler in Denver, Colorado, March 29, 2019Administrator Wheeler tours the Denver Water Recycling Plant.