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News Releases from Region 10

EPA awards $19 million to Idaho for critical water projects loans

10/18/2018
Contact Information: 
Bill Dunbar (dunbar.bill@epa.gov)
206-553-1019

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Contact:              Bill Dunbar

10/18/2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         206-553-1019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dunbar.bill@epa.gov

SEATTLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is awarding almost $19 million to Idaho’s clean water and drinking water revolving funds to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be used to finance water quality protection and drinking water projects that will last far into the future.

The $18,966,000 in funding will be used across Idaho for water quality projects to reduce water pollution, improve municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, make projects more sustainable by increasing water and energy efficiency, and provide technical assistance to communities.

Chris Hladick, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10, said, “While the State of Idaho has some of the best drinking water and water quality in the country, water infrastructure ages and needs to be upgraded and repaired. EPA's funding helps Idaho continue its program to invest in drinking water and wastewater systems and protect people's health” 

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, administrated by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, was awarded $7,859,000 – a 21 percent increase over 2017 funding. The program provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from rainwater runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.

Since 1987, Idaho has received more than $214 million in annual CWSRF capitalization grants. Combined with state match and repayments, IDEQ has provided more than $637 million in low-interest CWSRF loans for water quality and wastewater projects. Some of the projects that have received funding through the CWSRF include:

  • Wastewater system consolidation in Fruitland

  • Addressing compliance issues in Rockland

  • Wastewater system upgrades in Nampa

In addition, DEQ is jointly developing a multiyear $165 million loan package with the City of Nampa to continue making system improvements started under the previous loan. 

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, also administrated by IDEQ, was allotted $11,107,000 – a 35 percent increase over 2017 funding. The program provides low-interest loans to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities.

Since the program’s inception in 1997, Idaho has received $203 million in annual DWSRF capitalization grants.  Those funds, along with state match and repayments, have allowed Idaho to provide more than $251 million in DWSRF loans.

These funds are vital to Idaho as we continue our efforts to improve water quality,” said John Tippets, Director of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. “Communities often face very difficult challenges as they recognize the need to replace aging infrastructure, and the low-interest loans these funds make possible are able to help ease that burden. The increased funding is very welcome as the demand exceeds our capacity to provide loans.

DWSRF projects in Idaho that have received funding from previous capitalization grants include:

  • Constructing a water treatment plant in Orofino

  • Repairing distribution lines and a storage tank and adding a new well in New Meadows

  • Replacing and upgrading existing water lines in St. Maries

In addition to providing grant funds through the SRFs and other programs, EPA technical experts and managers provide their expertise to local, state, and tribal grant recipients on strategy development, research, technical needs, and compliance and enforcement.

For a list of drinking water projects that could be funded this year, please click here:

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/media/60181538/dw-iup-fy19-0718.pdf.

For a list of clean water projects that could be funded this year, please click here:

http://www.deq.idaho.gov/media/60181539/cwsrf-iup-fy19-0718.pdf

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