Learn About the WIFIA Program

The WIFIA mission is to:

Accelerate investment in our nation's water and wastewater infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance under customized terms to creditworthy water and wastewater projects of national and regional significance.

WIFIA works separately from, but in coordination with, the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs to provide subsidized financing for large dollar-value projects.

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Program Overview

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible borrowers are:

  • Federal, state or local government entities
  • Partnerships and joint ventures
  • Corporations and trusts
  • Tribal governments or consortium of tribal governments
  • State Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs

Eligible projects are:

  • Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects that are eligible for the Clean Water SRF
  • Drinking water treatment and distribution projects that are eligible for the Drinking Water SRF
  • Enhanced energy efficiency at drinking water and wastewater facilities
  • Brackish or seawater desalination, aquifer recharge, and water recycling projects
  • Acquisition of property if it is integral to the project or will mitigate the environmental impact of a project
  • Bundled SRF projects submitted under one application by an SRF program
  • A combination of projects secured by a common security pledge

Eligible activities are:

  • Development phase activities, including planning, preliminary engineering, design, environmental review, revenue forecasting, and other pre-construction activities
  • Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and replacement activities
  • Acquisition of real property or an interest in real property, environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, and acquisition of equipment
  • Capitalized interest necessary to meet market requirements, reasonably required reserve funds, capital issuance expenses and other carrying costs during construction

Important Program Features

  • Projects must cost at least $20 million for large communities and $5 million for small communities (population of 25,000 or less).
  • WIFIA assistance may not exceed 49% of a project’s eligible costs.
  • Total federal assistance may not exceed 80% of a project’s eligible costs.
  • The interest rate on the loan will not be less than the yield on U.S. Treasury securities of a similar maturity at the date of closing.
  • Loans may have a repayment schedule of up to 35 years or the useful life of the project, whichever is shorter. There is no repayment obligation until five years after substantial completion of the project.
  • The project must have a dedicated source of revenue and be deemed creditworthy. The senior obligation of the project must receive an investment grade rating. A preliminary rating opinion letter is required at the time of application, and two final rating opinion letters are required prior to closing.
  • NEPA, Davis-Bacon, American Iron and Steel, and all other federal cross-cutter provisions apply.
  • Draft application materials are available at www.regulations.gov (ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0178-0013).

Current Status

In FY 2014 and FY 2015, Congress provided $2.2 million to EPA to establish the WIFIA program, including hiring qualified staff, developing regulations, guidance and application materials, and developing a credit subsidy model. When Congress appropriates funds for the program, EPA will begin offering WIFIA loans for water infrastructure projects.

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Law and Regulations

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) (PDF) (10 pp, 156 K, About PDFwas signed into law by the President on June 10, 2014, and authorized the WIFIA program to be managed by EPA Headquarters.

The interim final WIFIA implementation rule, Credit Assistance for Water Infrastructure Projects, was signed by the EPA Administrator on December 6, 2016, and establishes the guidelines for the WIFIA program and the process by which EPA will administer credit assistance.

The proposed Fees for Water Infrastructure Project Applications under WIFIA was also signed on December 6, 2016, and proposes to establish fees related to the provision of federal credit assistance under WIFIA.

For more information about the WIFIA program and the rules, see the EPA Connect blog article: EPA is Ready to Launch New Water Finance Program, December 6, 2016.

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Information Sessions

Join EPA for a series of webinars to learn more about the implementation of the WIFIA program. Participants may register in advance or join the same day.

Date Location
November 29, 2016
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET)
WIFIA Program Overview
Presenters will explain the WIFIA program's eligibility and statutory requirements, loan terms and conditions, and credit policies.
December 6, 2016
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET)
WIFIA Project Selection
Presenters will walk through the application and selection process, including the letter of interest components, selection criteria and their weights, and preliminary creditworthiness and engineering assessments.
Register.
December 12, 2016
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET)
WIFIA Project Approval and Closing
Presenters will discuss application submission and evaluation, term sheet development, and closing.
Register.

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