Funding boost for US water infrastructure projects

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $7.5 billion (€7 billion) in available Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding.
This innovative low-interest loan program helps communities invest in drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
The announcement furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensuring all people and all communities have access to clean and safe water.
“When we invest in water, we support healthy people, economic opportunity, environmental protection, and good-paying local jobs,” said EPA administrator Michael S. Regan.
“This new funding from the WIFIA program – coupled with President Biden’s historic $50 billion (€46 billion) investment in water through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – bolsters EPA’s efforts to ensure communities across the country have solid water infrastructure and reliable access to safe and clean water.”
For this new round of funding, EPA has identified priority areas such as increasing investment in economically stressed communities; making rapid progress on lead service line replacement; addressing PFAS and emerging contaminants; mitigating the impacts of drought and supporting water innovation and resilience.
Using previously announced funding, EPA has awarded WIFIA loans to benefit dozens of communities, including:
• Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority in Pennsylvania closed a $52 million (€48 million) WIFIA loan to upgrade and replace aging water infrastructure to ensure that residents and businesses can rely on safe drinking water.
• Polk Regional Water Cooperative in Florida received $305 million (€285 million) to sustain the local drinking water supply and alleviate the strain on the Upper Floridan Aquifer.
• City of Santa Cruz, California closed a $128 million (€120 million) WIFIA loan to upgrade their drinking water system to be more resilient to drought and climate change.
• City of Wichita, Kansas closed a $191 million (€179 million) WIFIA loan to upgrade two critical wastewater facilities, advancing technologies for water reuse and reducing the nutrient loads in the Arkansas River and Mississippi River Basin.
• San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in California closed a $369 million (€346 million) WIFIA loan to enhance resiliency to seismic events and climate change and reduce the risk of combined sewer overflows.
• New Jersey Infrastructure Bank closed a $500 million SWIFIA loan that will help modernize wastewater and drinking water systems serving over 10 million people throughout New Jersey.
• City of Boise, Idaho closed a $263 million WIFIA loan to improve wastewater treatment processes to protect the Boise River’s water quality.
• City of Chattanooga, Tennessee closed a $186 million WIFIA loan to improve its wastewater system’s energy efficiency and resilience to extreme weather.

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