EPA Announces $424 Million WIFIA Loan to Improve Water Quality and Climate Resiliency in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Nationally, 63 WIFIA loans are financing $26 billion in water infrastructure upgrades, creating 73,000 jobs
WASHINGTON — Today, at a virtual event with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and other local officials, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox announced a $424 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. EPA’s fourth WIFIA loan to Miami-Dade County will help finance upgrades that will eliminate the use of ocean outfalls and increase the system’s resiliency to extreme weather events.
“Congratulations to our partners at Miami-Dade County on closing your fourth WIFIA loan – a first for this low-interest loan program,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This project will improve water quality for wildlife and recreation and bolster climate resiliency while creating 2,700 quality jobs. These benefits for Miami-Dade County exemplify what the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal can deliver for communities across the country.”
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department’s Ocean Outfall Legislation Projects include multiple efforts to improve water quality and help meet regulatory requirements by enhancing wastewater treatment processes in its north and central districts. The projects will increase the system’s climate resiliency by modernizing facilities to be better protected and able to operate during extreme weather events. The projects include improvements to wastewater treatment processes, rehabilitation of a sewer pump station, and construction of new injection well pump stations.
Today’s announcement marks Miami-Dade County’s fourth WIFIA loan, bringing the total amount of financing provided by EPA to over $1 billion. This $424 million WIFIA loan will help finance nearly half of the $866 million project costs for the final phase of the Miami-Dade County Ocean Outfall Legislation Project. The remaining project costs will be funded through revenue bonds and borrower cash. Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department is expected to save $79 million in interest costs through its WIFIA loan. Construction will occur between 2021-2027, with construction and operation expected to create over 2,700 jobs.
“Investing and updating our county's treatment plants allows us to continue delivering reliable service to our community while also safeguarding the Bay, protecting our clean water, and building for a more resilient future – and at the same time creating jobs for our residents,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “These upgrades are investments in the future health and prosperity of our community for decades to come."
“Partnering with the EPA and utilizing their WIFIA loans allows us to accelerate wastewater projects, which demonstrate that investments in infrastructure can provide economic, environmental and employment benefits for our community,” said Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department Director Roy Coley. “We not only look for innovative ways to implement new technologies as part of our Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects, but we are just as committed to employing inventive financing opportunities. This allows our department to be a responsible steward of not only our natural resources, but also our customers’ financial investments.”
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. With this WIFIA loan closing, EPA has announced 63 WIFIA loans that are providing $12.7 billion in credit assistance to help finance approximately $26 billion for water infrastructure while creating approximately 73,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $4.5 billion.
For more information about the WIFIA program’s accomplishments through 2020, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-annual-report. For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.