Ohio EPA Proposes 2017 Water Pollution Control Loan Fund Program Management Plan

Ohio EPA Proposes 2017 Water Pollution Control Loan Fund Program Management Plan
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11/4/16
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: James Lee
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Proposes 2017 Water Pollution Control Loan Fund Program Management Plan

Hearing set for 1 p.m. Nov. 21, 2016

Ohio EPA will hold a meeting on Nov. 21, 2016, to discuss the Agency’s draft 2017 Program Management Plan for the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF). The fund provides financial and technical assistance to improve the quality of Ohio's rivers, streams, lakes and other water bodies.

The meeting will be held in Ohio EPA’s Conference Center – Autumn Room, sixth floor, Lazarus Government Center, 50 West Town Street, Columbus. Attendees wanting to testify may do so verbally or in writing. Written comments also will be accepted through Nov. 21, 2016, and should be addressed to Ohio EPA, Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or emailed to defamail@epa.ohio.gov.

Since 2011, Ohio has invested more than $3.5 billion in key infrastructure issues in order to improve water quality statewide. These creative programs tackle challenges like Harmful Algae Blooms (HABS). For example, in Program Years (PY) 2015 and 2016, in response to HABs and their potential effect on drinking water systems, Ohio EPA made $100 million available at zero percent interest to projects that helped reduce phosphorus and other nutrients being discharged into Ohio’s water bodies.

Building on these successes, in PY2017, Ohio EPA will continue encouraging these efforts by offering an additional $100 million at a zero percent interest rate for these types of projects. Additionally, starting in PY2017, Ohio EPA is proposing to commit an additional $300 million (zero interest rate) over the next three years for projects that address combined sewer overflows (CSOs). This special “call for nominations” began in early November 2016 and is outside the regular annual cycle.

Ohio EPA received project nominations which total slightly over $1.7 billion, and will make funds available to all applicants that meet program requirements. Additionally, up to $30 million will be available as principal forgiveness. Principal forgiveness projects that are within the funding range and meet all program requirements will receive the amount they requested during the nomination period. If final project costs exceed the amount requested, the loan recipient must make up the difference.

The nomination deadline for most projects eligible to receive 2017 funding was Aug. 31, 2016. Exceptions include planning loans, nutrient reduction discounts and the special call for CSO loans. The primary sources of WPCLF assistance are proceeds from bond issues, available loan repayments and federal capitalization grants. Ohio EPA may issue revenue bonds to help in meeting the coming year’s funding requests.

Copies of the draft 2017 Program Management Plan and supporting documents are available on the web or by contacting defamail@epa.ohio.gov or calling (614) 644-3636.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


Ohio EPA Proposes 2017 Water Pollution Control Loan Fund Program Management Plan
Source: Ohio Environmental News

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