In April, EPA began the process of seeking applicants for its latest round of loans to be delivered through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. The agency is offering up to $6 billion in WIFIA credit assistance to communities across the country, leveraged from Congress’ $68 million FY19 WIFIA appropriation. Potential applicants must submit an initial letter of interest to EPA by July 5.
A wide range of projects will be eligible for funding, but EPA plans to prioritize projects that focus on “water reuse and recycling, reducing exposure to lead and addressing emerging contaminants, and updating aging infrastructure.” The agency says the loans will ultimately support as much as $12 billion in water infrastructure investment and create more than 180,000 jobs.
Congress created WIFIA in 2014 as a means to deliver low-cost loans to a wide range of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects that may be too large to receive meaningful assistance through the existing State Revolving Fund programs. WIFIA projects carried out in communities of more than 25,000 people must cost at least $20 million, with up to 49 percent of the total cost eligible for financing through a WIFIA loan. WIFIA recipients are responsible for funding the balance of project costs and may do so through tax-exempt municipal bonds, private financing, or other options.
Details on applying for WIFIA funding is found on the EPA website.