News Releases from Region 05
EPA Invites Joliet to Apply for $441 Million Water Infrastructure Loan
CHICAGO — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the City of Joliet has been invited to apply for a $441 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan, bringing this year’s nationwide total invitation amount to nearly $7 billion to finance over $18 billion for water infrastructure projects.
The City of Joliet in Illinois will join the 55 other selected projects that were previously invited to apply for WIFIA funding. The City of Joliet met the WIFIA program’s engineering and creditworthiness standards but could not be invited previously due to the program’s FY 2020 resource restraints. WIFIA will provide a $441 million loan for the Alternative Water Source Program for the City of Joliet, which will construct infrastructure needed to access a new, sustainable drinking water source to replace the city’s reliance on the current sandstone aquifer that has declining water levels.
With this announcement, there are 57 new projects in 20 states that have been invited to apply for nearly $7 billion in WIFIA loans, now including four in the Chicago area. This funding will help finance over $18 billion in clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects to protect public health and improve water quality in communities across the United States. The projects in the Chicago area previously invited to apply are Chicago Department of Water Management, City of Evanston, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Since the first WIFIA loan closed in 2018, EPA has announced 46 WIFIA loans that are providing more than $9 billion in credit assistance to help finance over $19 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 47,000 jobs and saving ratepayers $4 billion. EPA received 67 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2020 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). After a robust statutorily required review process, the WIFIA Selection Committee chose 55 prospective borrowers’ projects to submit applications for loans and placed three prospective borrowers on a waitlist. The City of Joliet has now been invited to apply.
To learn more about the projects that are invited to apply, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects
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, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.