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EPA commemorates $640 million in water infrastructure loans to Tualatin Valley Water District and the city of Hillsboro

10/09/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

BEAVERTON, Ore.  Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest Chris Hladick joined the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the city of Hillsboro to celebrate EPA’s nearly $640 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans to these communities. These loans will invest in the development of an additional water supply for these communities that will be built to the highest seismic safety standards for earthquake resiliency.

“The city and water district have formed an important partnership to secure a safe, long-term drinking water supply and protect the health and well-being of their residents,” said EPA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Chris Hladick. “This partnership and forward-thinking planning will not only protect local drinking water resources, it will make Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley more resilient to future droughts.”

Today, the TVWD and the city of Hillsboro hosted an event in Beaverton to celebrate the WIFIA loan closing. Speakers included the TVWD Board President Bernice Bagnall, City of Hillsboro Mayor Steve Calloway and EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Northwest Chris Hladick. In August, EPA announced the closing of these two WIFIA loans – one to the TVWD and the other to the city of Hillsboro — marking the first time that WIFIA has provided financing for two individual borrowers partnering on a joint project — the Willamette Water Supply System (WWSS).

The WIFIA loans will provide approximately $388 million for TVWD and $251 million for the city of Hillsboro, respectively, to fund investments in the WWSS. When completed in 2026, this system will provide the TVWD and Hillsboro additional seismically resilient water supply capacity. The system will include intake facilities, over 30 miles of pipes, a water treatment plant and two storage reservoirs to serve 400,000 residents and businesses in Washington County. The investments in the system will provide reliable, quality drinking water for generations to come and will support the local economy both during construction and future operation.

The WWSS will cost $1.3 billion. EPA’s WIFIA loans will finance nearly half of that figure — up to $638 million. The WIFIA loans will save TVWD an estimated $138.4 million and the Hillsboro an estimated $125.2 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create over 4,000 jobs. EPA has issued 13 WIFIA loans totaling over $3.5 billion in credit assistance, to help finance over $8 billion for water infrastructure projects and create over 15,000 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.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

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