News Releases from Region 04
EPA Invites Polk Regional Water Cooperative in Florida to Apply for a WIFIA Water Infrastructure Loan
Nationally, EPA invites 38 projects to apply for water infrastructure loans to improve water quality for 24 million Americans and create almost 200,000 jobs
BARTOW, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2019) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting a total of 38 projects in 18 states to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. Together, the selected borrowers will apply for WIFIA loans totaling approximately $6 billion to help finance over $12 billion in water infrastructure investments and create almost 200,000 jobs.
“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 Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This announcement highlights billions of dollars in needed water infrastructure investments to upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce exposure to lead and emerging contaminants and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country – all while creating almost 200,000 jobs.”
“By improving water infrastructure, we are improving the quality of life and public health in our communities,” said Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “The WIFIA program funds the infrastructure upgrades necessary to strengthen our wastewater treatment and drinking water distribution systems.”
EPA’s WIFIA loans will allow communities across the country to implement projects to address national water priorities – including providing for clean and safe drinking water by reducing exposure to lead and emerging contaminants, addressing aging water infrastructure and developing water recycling and reuse projects. EPA received 51 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2019 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). After a robust, statutorily required review process, the WIFIA Selection Committee chose the Polk Regional Water Cooperative - Alterative Water Supplies Program.
The Polk Regional Water Cooperative has been invited to apply for a $235 million WIFIA loan to go towards the Alterative Water Supplies Program. The purpose of the program is to provide alternative high quality source water to meet future drinking water needs, increase water supply reliability, facilitate water resource improvements in thirteen lakes, sustain the availability of water to existing private residential potable wells, and help recover aquifer levels.
To learn more about the 38 projects that are invited to apply, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects.
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. EPA's WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump's infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility. 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.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.