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News Releases from Region 10

EPA awards $52 million to Washington 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

10/17/2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   206-553-1019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dunbar.bill@epa.gov

SEATTLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is awarding over $52 million to Washington’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 $52,727,000 in funding will be used across Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington continue its program to invest in drinking water and wastewater systems and protect people's health” 

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, administered by the Washington Department of Ecology, was awarded $27,912,000 – 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 rain water runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.

Since 1987, Washington has received more than $776 million in annual CWSRF capitalization grants. Combined with state match and repayments, the Department of Ecology has provided more than $1.8 billion in low-interest CWSRF loans for water quality and wastewater projects. Some of the projects that have received funding through the CWSRF include:

  • King County’s Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Facility

  • Town of Carbonado Sewer System Replacement Project

  • Craft3 On-Site Sewage System Regional Loan Program

  • City of Oak Harbor Wastewater Treatment Facility

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, administered by the Washington Department of Health, was allotted $24,815,000 – a 35 percent increase over 2017 funding. The program provides low-interest loans (in 2017 the average interest rate across the country was 1.5 percent) 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, the State of Washington has received $508 million in annual DWSRF capitalization grants.  Those funds, along with state match and repayments, have allowed Washington to provide more than $895 million in DWSRF loans.

“We really appreciate having this new infusion of grant funding every year,” said Mike Means, Director, Washington Department of Health’s Drinking Water Program. “Coupled with the legislature’s funding of our required match, along with loan repayments, these new funds help pay for construction of important drinking water infrastructure projects, and also support implementation of Washington’s drinking water program.”

Drinking water projects in Washington that have received funding from previous DWSRF capitalization grants include:

  • Olympia’s corrosion control treatment plant,

  • Surface water treatment facilities in Tacoma, Seattle, Walla Walla, Bellingham, and Port Townsend, and

  • Water system improvements in Bingen, Brewster, Chewelah, Colville, Concrete, Ferndale, and Toppenish.

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.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/DrinkingWater/WaterSystemAssistance/DrinkingWaterStateRevolvingFundDWSRF

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

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/funding/fundprgms/CWSRF/oppSRF.html