The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced this week that it had received 62 letters of interest (LOIs) collectively requesting $9.1 Billion USD in loans from a wide range of prospective borrowers in response to the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program’s 2018 Notice of Funding Availability.
USEPA's WIFIA program is designed to accelerate investment in the US's water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.
Eligible borrowers are:
- Local, state, tribal, and federal government entities
- Partnerships and joint ventures
- Corporations and trusts
- Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs
This was more than double the funding capacity for the year and according to EPA Office of Water Assistant David Ross, “..demonstrat(es) the critical need for investment in our nation’s water infrastructure. EPA looks forward to reviewing the letters of interest we received as we advance the President’s infrastructure agenda and help communities better protect public health and water quality".
Prospective borrowers are located in 24 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Projects include wastewater, drinking water, water recycling, desalination, stormwater management, and combined approaches. More than half addressed one or both of EPA’s priorities: reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants in drinking water systems and updating aging infrastructure. The majority of prospective borrowers are municipal government agencies but also include small communities, public-private partnerships, corporations, and a tribe, USEPA said.
The agency is currently evaluating the submitted letters of interest for project eligibility, credit worthiness, engineering feasibility, and alignment with WIFIA’s statutory and regulatory criteria.