U.S. EPA Invites California to Apply for $695 Million in Water Infrastructure Loans
Brand new loan program will help states finance more infrastructure projects
LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting three states, including California, to apply for a total of $695 million in water infrastructure loans through a new infrastructure financing authority. This innovative program, known as SWIFIA, will help finance infrastructure projects to improve water quality and protect public health in communities across California, as well as Iowa and Rhode Island.
“The new SWIFIA program leverages the flexibility and low interest rates of WIFIA and the local experience and expertise of the state revolving funds to invest in our local communities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This SWIFIA funding 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.”
“Through the SWIFIA program, EPA continues to deliver on its commitment to rebuilding and improving California’s water infrastructure,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “The projects funded by SWIFIA will help us build stronger economies, create new jobs, and protect public health.”
EPA’s SWIFIA loans are exclusively for state infrastructure financing authority borrowers, commonly known as State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. The new SWIFIA loans will allow the financing of 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.
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 and the New Jersey Infrastructure Financing Authority was invited to apply for a $149 million WIFIA loan.
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.