The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced that 55 new projects from across the United States have been invited to apply for loans under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).
Created in 2014, WIFIA is intended to help strengthen water infrastructure in the United States. This financial assistance program for clean and potable water is extremely popular, saving billions on utility bills and creating nearly 40,000 new jobs since 2018. The new projects in 20 states are being invited to apply for approximately $5.1 billion in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. This funding will help finance over $12 billion in clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects to protect public health and improve water quality in communities across the United States.
From the EPA Press Release:
“EPA built one of the greatest financing tools for investing in America’s water infrastructure in history when it stood up the WIFIA program in 2018,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These 55 new projects will facilitate $12 billion in water infrastructure to help address some of the most pressing challenges faced by water systems across this country.”
Since the first WIFIA loan closed in 2018, EPA has announced 41 WIFIA loans that are providing $7.8 billion in credit assistance to help finance $16.8 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 38,800 jobs and saving ratepayers $3.7 billion. EPA received 67 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2020 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). After a robust statutorily required review process, the WIFIA Selection Committee chose 55 prospective borrowers’ projects to submit applications for loans and placed three prospective borrowers on a waitlist.
The WIFIA program is expanding its geographic scope by inviting entities from Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia for the first time. Four prospective borrowers that submitted letters of interest in response to a previous WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability resubmitted them for 2020 and have been invited to proceed in the 2020 funding round. Seven borrowers who have already received a WIFIA loan or are in the process of closing a loan have been invited to apply for additional financing. This action complements EPA November 2020 announcement that California, Iowa, and Rhode Island were invited to apply for a total of $695 million in loans through EPA’s new state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for the latest.