News Releases from Region 04
EPA Invites Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority in Key West, Fla. to Apply for a WIFIA Water Infrastructure Loan
Loans will help make critical investments in communities to improve water quality for 22 million Americans
ATLANTA (November 1, 2018) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority in Key West, Fla. to apply for a $45 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan for the Florida Keys Imperiled Water Supply Rehabilitation Project. The purpose of the project is to prevent an increasing number of emergency transmission main failures, replace aging infrastructure, and provide a redundant water supply source.
“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing an integral role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure and ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe water,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This year, EPA will help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments that will create up to 155,000 jobs, upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce lead exposure, and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country.”
After a robust, statutorily required review process, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority was selected as one of 39 projects nationwide, from a group of 62 prospective borrowers, representing large and small communities, who submitted letters of interest to EPA in response to the 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Together, the selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling up to $5 billion to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments and create up to 155,000 jobs.
“By investing in water infrastructure, we are improving water quality in our communities and protecting public health,” said Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn. “The WIFIA program allows states, municipalities, and public-private partnerships to fund the critical repairs necessary to strengthen our wastewater treatment and drinking water distribution systems.”
The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority has been invited to apply for a $45 million WIFIA loan to go towards the $91 million estimated cost of the Florida Keys Imperiled Water Supply Rehabilitation project. The project will include replacement of the failing seawater Reverse Osmosis Facility, approximately 12 miles of aging piping throughout the system, and an obsolete water distribution pump station.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA’s WIFIA loans will allow large and small communities across the country to implement projects to address two national water priorities – providing for clean and safe drinking water including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants and addressing aging water infrastructure.
To date, EPA has issued four loans totaling over $1 billion in WIFIA credit assistance. Combined, these four projects will create over 5,000 jobs.
According to EPA's estimate of national drinking water and wastewater needs, over $743 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements. EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in fulfilling this need and in the President’s Infrastructure Plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility.
To learn more about the 39 projects that are invited to apply and about EPA’s WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects.