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EPA Announces $326 Million Water Infrastructure Loan for Miami-Dade County

The 22 WIFIA loans issued under President Trump are helping finance $10 billion in water infrastructure projects

06/04/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov )

WASHINGTON (June 4, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $326 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Miami-Dade County to help finance the design and construction of upgrades to three wastewater treatment plants. The new loan represents EPA’s second investment in Miami-Dade County’s continuing efforts under the Ocean Outfall Legislation Program to reduce nutrient discharges by 2018, eliminate the use of ocean outfalls by 2025, and reuse 60 percent of wastewater flows by 2025. Miami-Dade County is WIFIA’s first repeat borrower.  

“Last spring, I visited Miami-Dade County to announce its first WIFIA loan,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s second WIFIA loan announcement highlights the flexibility of the WIFIA program to support each borrower in their unique situation. With this loan closing, EPA has now issued 22 WIFIA loans that have helped finance $10 billion for water infrastructure projects, playing a key role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure, protect water resources and create well-paying jobs.”

The new WIFIA loan will help finance the Wastewater Treatment Plant Electrical Distribution Building Upgrade, which will design and construct five new electrical distribution buildings across Miami-Dade County's three wastewater treatment plants. Two of the new electrical distribution buildings are part of the Ocean Outfall Legislation Program. The project will construct new electrical facilities that enable the wastewater treatment plants to operate continuously during storm events and minimize the risk of potential untreated wastewater discharges to the ocean. This builds on a prior WIFIA loan to Miami-Dade County that helped finance deep injection wells at the county’s three wastewater treatment plants.

“This WIFIA loan will provide tremendous support to Miami-Dade County in their efforts to modernize and upgrade their wastewater infrastructure,” said Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “By improving water infrastructure, we are improving the quality of life and public health in our communities. Additionally, with this $326 million loan closing, Miami-Dade County becomes WIFIA’s first repeat borrower.”

“As I’ve stated before, this loan is a significant win for our community, and will have long-lasting impacts on the quality of life of our citizens,” said U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25). “I thank the Administration once again for continuing to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, and a special thank you to Administrator Wheeler for maintaining our county among his top priorities.”

“Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department is midway through Miami-Dade County’s largest Capital Improvement Program in our history,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The investments and upgrades being made will have significant impacts on the environment and the community for decades to come. By accelerating some of these projects through our collaboration with the EPA and the WIFIA program, we demonstrate that our projects are considered to be both regionally and nationally impactful.”

“Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) is pleased to partner with WIFIA on a second loan to improve our local environment and to harden our assets against sea level rise,” said WASD Director Kevin Lynskey. “This joint finance arrangement will save our rate payers over $100 million over the course of this loan.”

The Wastewater Treatment Plant Electrical Distribution Building Upgrade project will cost $660 million. EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of that figure—up to $326 million. Additionally, the project will be financed by the Florida Clean Water State Revolving Fund and bonds. The WIFIA loan will save the Miami-Dade County an estimated $103 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create more than 260 direct jobs.

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 and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump’s infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility. 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’s accomplishments through 2019, please 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.