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EPA’s New Funding Can Help Update New England’s Aging Water Infrastructure

Act Now and Apply for Funding by July 31, 2018

05/22/2018

By:          Alexandra Dunn, Regional Administrator
                U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New England Region

BOSTON – Now is the time for municipal and state officials to take advantage of an opportunity to lock in funding to upgrade aging water infrastructure and ensure that local communities have access to clean and safe water.

Recently, the U.S. EPA announced a significant increase in funding available for water infrastructure projects. The program, under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), is providing up to $5.5 billion in low-cost loans, which could leverage over $11 billion in water infrastructure projects. The time to act and take advantage of this opportunity is now. Prospective borrowers seeking WIFIA credit assistance must submit a letter of interest by July 31, 2018.

The WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program run by EPA that is designed to accelerate investment in the nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.

This program stands ready to be a major factor for communities throughout New England to fund needed improvements that will ensure clean and healthy drinking water, and a cleaner and better protected environment, for generations to come.

EPA plays a key role in the Trump Administration's infrastructure efforts by incentivizing states, municipalities, and public-private partnerships to protect public health, fix local infrastructure problems, create jobs, and provide clean water to communities.

EPA understands that investing in water infrastructure means we are investing in our communities. Funding made available through WIFIA will help improve water quality, protect public health, and equally importantly, will bolster local economies with good paying jobs during construction, and a solid economic foundation for decades to come.

In the recent budget passed by Congress and signed by the President on March 23, WIFIA program funding was more than doubled from 2017 levels. This year's Notice of Funding Availability highlights the importance of protecting public health including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants in drinking water systems and updating the nation's aging infrastructure.

WIFIA credit assistance can be used for a wide range of projects, including:

  • Drinking water treatment and distribution projects;
  • Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects;
  • Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities;
  • Desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling project; and
  • Drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects.

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