EPA Highlights Increased Investment in Water Infrastructure Through State Revolving Funds
WASHINGTON (October 28, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released 2019 annual reports for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs. Over the past four years, EPA has worked with its state partners to increase the utilization and leveraging of these funds to accelerate investment in water infrastructure and better serve both urban and rural communities across the nation. In 2019 alone, these programs provided $9 billion to support new and revitalized water infrastructure.
“EPA has worked with the states to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the state revolving funds,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “As a result, more funding is being used to revamp water infrastructure in communities across the country.”
In 2019, the CWSRF provided over $6.2 billion in assistance for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse strategies, and addressing stormwater management challenges. Since the program’s inception, the CWSRF has provided over $138 billion in low-cost funding to water quality projects across the nation. This low-cost financing represents a savings of more than $43 billion in interest costs over the life of the program.
In 2019, the DWSRF provided over $2.8 billion in assistance to water systems for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including transmission and distribution, system consolidation, and drinking water treatment facilities. The DWSRF also funded an additional $178 million for critical activities including operator certification, water system capacity development, and source water protection. Since its inception, the DWSRF program has funded more than $41.1 billion in infrastructure projects at below-market interest rates. This low-cost financing represents a savings of approximately $10 billion in interest costs over the life of the program.
EPA has also worked with loan applicants to combine the use of SRF and WIFIA financing. Of the 36 WIFIA loans issued to date, 21 are expected to also receive SRF financing. And this year, for the first time, EPA announced funding for the new State infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA). This new program, which was authorized by Congress as part of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, offers low-interest loans to state water infrastructure programs (e.g., the State Revolving Funds) that then helps finance needed water infrastructure projects in local communities. This round of funding will provide SWIFIA borrowers up to $1 billion to support $2 billion in water infrastructure projects.
Importantly, the American Iron and Steel requirements embedded in the CWSRF and DWSRF state that SRF assistance recipients must use iron and steel products that are produced in the United States for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of public water system or treatment works. In 2019, EPA conducted 102 educational AIS site visits to communities with ongoing SRF projects and discussed the AIS requirement at 12 training events and conferences around the country. Through EPA’s oversight, thousands of critical water infrastructure projects have successfully implemented the AIS requirement and brought business to domestic manufacturers.
Under the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs, EPA provides funding to all 50 states and Puerto Rico to capitalize SRF loan programs. The states and Puerto Rico contribute an additional 20 percent to match the federal grants. The 51 SRF programs function like infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans to eligible recipients for drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects. As the loan principal and interest are repaid over time, it allows the state’s DWSRF and CWSRF to be recycled or “revolve.” As money is returned to the state’s revolving loan fund, the state makes new loans to other eligible recipients. These funds can also be combined with EPA’s WIFIA loans to create a powerful, innovative financing solution for major infrastructure projects.
For more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/dwsrf, https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf, and https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf/american-iron-and-steel-requirement-approved-national-waivers-0.