EPA Invites Rhode Island to Apply for $39+ Million Water Infrastructure Loan
Brand new loan program helps states finance more water infrastructure projects
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting three state agencies to apply for a total of $695 million in water infrastructure loans through the agency’s new state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. This innovative program will help finance infrastructure projects to improve water quality and protect public health in communities across the states of California, Iowa, and Rhode Island. Under the program, the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is being invited to apply for $39.2 million for work in R.I.
“The SWIFIA program will help finance over $3.2 billion in water infrastructure investments across the states of California, Iowa, and Rhode Island, while creating more than 2,000 jobs,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “It’s another example of the Trump Administration’s commitment to building clean water infrastructure across the country.”
“EPA is truly pleased that the State of Rhode Island has applied for funding, and is being invited to pursue these additional loan funds to make water infrastructure improvements in the state,” said EPA’s New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. “Rhode Island is making great progress addressing water infrastructure needs, and we applaud the leadership they are showing in this area.”
EPA’s SWIFIA loans are exclusively for state infrastructure financing authority borrowers, commonly known as State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, and will allow them to finance more infrastructure projects in their states. The first three selected SWIFIA borrowers are the California State Water Resources Control Board ($500 million), the Iowa Finance Authority ($156 million), and the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank ($39.2 million). These state programs will combine state resources, annual capitalization grant dollars, and the SWIFIA loans to accelerate investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
“We are excited that our proposal to access the long-term, low-cost funding available from the new SWIFIA program has been accepted by EPA,” said Jeffrey Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “We look forward to working with the EPA team to lower the cost of financing critical water infrastructure projects that protect the health of Rhode Islanders, improve the environment and create jobs.”
The SWIFIA program, authorized by Congress in section 4201 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, is a loan program within the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program that is exclusively for State infrastructure financing authority borrowers. On July 17, 2020, EPA announced the availability of SWIFIA loans and a deadline of September 15, 2020 to submit letters of interest. EPA received three letters of interest and is inviting all three candidates to apply for SWIFIA loans.
Prior to establishing the SWIFIA program, two state infrastructure financing authority borrowers were selected to receive WIFIA loans. In 2019, EPA closed a $436 million WIFIA loan with the Indiana Finance Authority. The New Jersey Infrastructure Financing Authority was also invited to apply for a $149 million WIFIA loan.
Under President Trump, EPA has closed 37 WIFIA loans that are providing $7.2 billion in credit assistance to help finance $15.6 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 34,600 jobs and saving ratepayers $3.4 billion.
For more information about the SWIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/what-swifia.
For more information on the DWSRF, visit https://www.epa.gov/drinkingwatersrf.
For more information on the CWSRF, visit https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf.
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