EPA Announces $321 Million Loan to Improve Water Quality in the Potomac River and Alexandria, Virginia
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new $321 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to Alexandria Renew Enterprises for its RiverRenew Tunnel System project. This project will benefit public health and the environment by significantly reducing discharges of untreated wastewater to Hooffs Run, Hunting Creek, and the Potomac River.
“Investment in wastewater infrastructure is essential to keeping our nation’s waters clean and our communities thriving. EPA is excited to partner with Alexandria Renew Enterprises on this project that will improve water quality and benefit communities along the Potomac River,” said EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA’s WIFIA program will play a key role in bringing economic opportunities, environmental protection, and savings to communities across the country as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to build back better.”
The RiverRenew Tunnel System project will promote cleaner, healthier waterways in Alexandria, Virginia by redirecting millions of gallons of sewage mixed with rainwater from combined sewer overflow outfalls to AlexRenew’s Water Resource Recovery Facility. There, this water will be treated before being discharged. The project includes the construction of a 20 million gallon per day tunnel dewatering pumping station and 130 million gallon per day wet weather pumping station.
“The City of Alexandria’s health and economic vitality depend on clean waterways,” said Chair of AlexRenew’s Board of Directors John Hill. “AlexRenew’s mission is to protect public and environmental health by keeping our waterways clean. We are greatly appreciative of our partnership with EPA to implement this historic program for our community and its future generations.”
“AlexRenew is committed to use our community members’ resources wisely to implement RiverRenew, the largest infrastructure project in the City of Alexandria’s history,” said AlexRenew Chief Executive Officer Karen Pallansch. “In spite of significant hurdles, RiverRenew is on track to meet its incredibly aggressive schedule. AlexRenew will continue to fulfill our vital mission to clean wastewater and work collaboratively with our community to solve environmental challenges while reinvesting locally.”
EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of the total project costs. The remaining project funds will come from a Virginia Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan, state grants, and cash contributions from AlexRenew on behalf of city residents and from Fairfax County. This WIFIA loan will save AlexRenew an estimated $63 million. EPA estimates that approximately 2,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created as a result of the project. With EPA’s WIFIA loan to AlexRenew, the agency has announced 44 WIFIA loans that are providing over $8 billion in credit assistance to help finance $17.2 billion for water infrastructure while creating nearly 42,000 jobs and saving ratepayers nearly $4 billion.
Background on WIFIA
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.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.