Home\WIFIA Program Announces Availability of $1 Billion in Credit Assistance

WIFIA Program Announces Availability of $1 Billion in Credit Assistance

Date: January 18, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of approximately $1 billion in credit assistance for water infrastructure projects under the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.

EPA’s WIFIA program will provide long-term, low-cost credit assistance in the form of direct loans and loan guarantees to creditworthy water projects. WIFIA provides another option for financing large infrastructure projects—generally at least $20 million—in addition to the State Revolving Funds and bond market.

WIFIA is available to state, local and tribal governments; private entities; partnerships; and State Revolving Fund programs. EPA estimates that funds appropriated to the WIFIA program can be leveraged at a ratio greater than 50 to one, which means the $17 million program budget could allow EPA to make approximately $1 billion in loans and stimulate about $2 billion in total infrastructure investment.

Letters of interest from prospective borrowers seeking credit assistance will be accepted from January 10, 2017 until midnight on April 10, 2017. Some of the projects that WIFIA enables EPA to provide assistance for include:

  • Water recycling, desalination, aquifer recharge, and alternative water supply;
  • Drinking water treatment and distribution projects;
  • Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects;
  • Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities;
  • Drought prevention, reduction or mitigation projects.

EPA will evaluate projects using criteria such as the extent to which the project is nationally or regionally significant, helps maintain or protect public health or the environment, protects against extreme weather, and serves regions with significant water resource challenges. EPA will make selections on a competitive basis.

EPA estimates that the U.S. needs about $660 billion in investments for drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure over the next 20 years.

For more information, visit the WIFIA website.

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