Good news for 12 vital American water projects…the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has invited them to apply for more than $2 billion in loans through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. These potential applicants were selected from a group of projects that represent large and small communities from across the United States that submitted letters of interest to EPA in April 2017.
The EPA received 43 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2017 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). These are the 12 prospective borrowers’ projects chosen to submit applications for loans:
So what’s next? According to the EPA’s WIFIA Website:
“After an invitee applies for WIFIA credit assistance, the WIFIA program conducts a detailed financial and engineering review in order to develop the terms and conditions for the project. Once a mutually agreeable term sheet is developed, the Administrator approves the loan and executes the term sheet. Based on the term sheet, the WIFIA program finalizes the terms of credit assistance. At closing, the Administrator and the borrower execute the credit agreement, which is the binding legal document that allows the borrower to receive WIFIA funds.”
Communities facing crumbling water infrastructure, like the City of Baltimore, applauded the news.
“Rudolph S. Chow, director of the city’s Department of Public Works, said applying for the federal money could help ‘alleviate the burden placed on our local ratepayers.’ Water customers in Baltimore saw a 9 percent rate increase go into effect on July 1, raising the monthly bill for a typical home by about $7. The price of water will have doubled in the city over eight years when a final planned rate increase takes effect next summer.
‘Our application covers important construction projects in Baltimore’s water, sewer, and stormwater utilities, and helps us carry out our mission to support the health, environment, and economy of our city and the region,’ Chow said in a statement.” …The Baltimore Sun