EPA Invites Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Projects to Apply for Water Infrastructure Loans
Projects will help modernize water infrastructure, protect public health, and increase community resilience
SEATTLE (Dec. 3, 2021) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that 39 new projects nationwide are being invited to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. Projects invited to apply for WIFIA financing include seven Idaho, Oregon, and Washington communities. The agency anticipates that, as funds become available, $6.7 billion in WIFIA loans will help finance over $15 billion in water infrastructure projects to protect public health and water quality across 24 states.
“Far too many communities still face significant water challenges, making these transformative investments in water infrastructure so crucial,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The WIFIA invited projects will deliver major benefits like the creation of good-paying jobs and the safeguarding of public health, especially in underserved and under-resourced communities. This program is a shining example of the public health and economic opportunities that will be achieved under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
EPA’s WIFIA program will provide selected borrowers with innovative financing tools to address pressing public health and environmental challenges in their communities. Consistent with its announced priorities, the WIFIA program is making $1.2 billion in loans available to support infrastructure needs in historically underserved communities. Additionally, 14 projects will help protect infrastructure from the impacts of extreme weather events and the climate crisis. New and innovative approaches, including cybersecurity, green infrastructure, and water reuse, are included in 24 projects.
WIFIA projects selected to apply in EPA’s Pacific Northwest Region 10:
- City of Boise (Idaho): $272 million for Water Renewal Services Capital Investments Projects.
- City of Ashland (Ore.): $36 million for a 7 Million Gallons per Day Water Treatment Plant.
- Tualatin Valley Water District (Ore.): $16 million for the Water System Upgrades Program.
- City of Oregon City (Ore.): $12 million for Water Rehabilitation, Resiliency, and Improvement Projects.
- EPCOR Foothills Water Project Inc. (Ore.): $76 million for the Lake Oswego Wastewater Treatment Replacement Project.
- City of Bellingham (Wash.): $136 million for the Post Point Resource Recovery Plant Biosolids Project.
- King County (Wash.): $287 million Master Agreement.
By diversifying its geographic reach and the types of selected borrowers, the WIFIA program will also expand the types of projects it supports. For the first time, entities in Connecticut, Delaware, and Hawaii are invited to apply. Three small communities, with populations of 25,000 or less, are selected for WIFIA loans totaling nearly $62 million. In addition, seven projects submitted by private borrowers and public-private partnerships totaling over $1.5 billion in WIFIA financing are included.
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 goal is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.
Since the first WIFIA loan closed in 2018, EPA has announced 63 WIFIA loans that are providing over$12 billion in credit assistance to help finance approximately $26 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 73,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $4.5 billion.
EPA received 50 letters of interest from public and private entities as well as State Infrastructure Financing Authorities in response to the 2021 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and the 2021 State Infrastructure Financing Authorities WIFIA NOFA. For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.