EPA Announces $137 Million Water Infrastructure Loan to the City of Waukesha
The 26 WIFIA loans issued under President Trump are helping finance more than $12 billion in water infrastructure projects
Waukesha, Wis. (August 12, 2020) — Today, at an event with U.S. Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01) in Waukesha, Wis., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a $137 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Waukesha, Wisc. to help implement the Great Lakes Water Supply Project. This WIFIA loan will help protect public health and the environment of this Milwaukee suburb by affecting the city’s transition to an enduring, sustainable and safer source of drinking water.
“This WIFIA loan will provide the City of Waukesha with a new, safer source of drinking water from Lake Michigan, while saving the City approximately $38 million when compared to typical bond financing,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “In the past three years the Trump administration has invested $38 billion dollars in clean water infrastructure, supporting 7,000 projects, and helping create 21,000 jobs across this great nation. I’m pleased that Waukesha’s residents will now be assured of cleaner water for decades to come.”
The Great Lakes Water Supply Project will provide the City of Waukesha with a new, safer source for drinking water. The project includes the construction of infrastructure to obtain, store, and distribute drinking water from Milwaukee Water Works to City of Waukesha customers. It also includes the pumps and pipes needed to return treated wastewater to Lake Michigan via the Root River.
“Today is the result of years of work from folks across Waukesha County. Thank you to Jim Sensenbrenner, Paul Farrow, EPA Administrator Wheeler, and many others who have worked diligently to ensure our community has safe drinking water. When the federal government listens to our local communities and responds to their needs, we all reap the benefits. This is a win for our health, a win for jobs, and a win for the future of Waukesha. I will continue fighting to bring jobs to Southeast Wisconsin, lower costs on families, and create a healthier community,” said U.S. Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01).
"Today’s announcement is great news for the people of Waukesha,” said Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “Through the WIFIA loan program, EPA is not only ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water, but also generating jobs, and enhancing our region’s vital water infrastructure.”
“Waukesha’s current water supply is severely drawn down and contaminated with naturally-occurring radium. Our Lake Michigan water supply project will ensure that our community can rely on a safe and sustainable water supply for generations to come,” said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly. “The federal WIFIA loans help ensure that we are constructing it at the lowest possible cost, which is great news for our residential and business ratepayers.”
“WIFIA loans have very low interest rates and also allow us to repay the loans over 38 years. That means that future users will share in the costs of this historic investment in critical infrastructure, lowering costs for our current customers,” said Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak.
This project will cost approximately $300 million, and EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of that figure. Wisconsin Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans will also fund a portion of the project costs. The WIFIA loan will save the City of Waukesha an estimated $35.9 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’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.
EPA is currently accepting Letters of Interest for FY 2020. Approximately $5 billion in financing is available. For more information about the FY 2020 selection process, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-funding-currently-available.
For more information about the WIFIA program’s accomplishments through 2019, visit: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-first-wifia-annual-report-highlighting-35-billion-infrastructure-funding.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.