EPA Advances President Trump's Water Infrastructure Agenda Through Accelerated Investments in New York and New Jersey

News Releases from Region 02

02/07/2019

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(New York, NY) — As highlighted in President Trump’s State of the Union address and in support of the President’s Infrastructure Initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accelerated investment in the nation’s aging water infrastructure. New York and New Jersey received a combined total of $307 million from EPA in 2018 to help communities replace or upgrade aging or inadequate drinking water and wastewater infrastructure through low-interest loans.

“EPA is delivering on President Trump’s promise to jump-start critical infrastructure projects that will not only enhance environmental protections but also grow the economy,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Under President Trump, EPA has issued seven WIFIA loans to help finance over $4 billion in water infrastructure projects that will improve water quality and create up to 6,000 jobs. By clearly defining where federal jurisdiction begins and ends, our new proposed Waters of the U.S. definition will provide states and the private sector the regulatory certainty they need to develop and streamline projects that will modernize our nation’s aging infrastructure.”

“Working with our state and local partners to provide much needed financial support for important water infrastructure projects is essential to our mission at EPA,” said Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This funding will help protect communities in New York and New Jersey, improving access to clean drinking water and strengthening local wastewater management efforts.”

Over the past year, EPA has moved President Trump’s infrastructure agenda forward by working to get the financing, tools and resources EPA’s state, local, tribal and other partners need to modernize outdated water infrastructure while improving local water quality, creating jobs and better protecting public health.

EPA has also taken a leading role in the administration’s initiative to promote greater efficiencies in the infrastructure permitting process. These actions include working to provide a clear and predictable approach to identifying waters that are subject to federal authority through the Department of the Army’s and EPA’s proposed “Waters of the United States” rulemaking, implementation of the administration’s One Federal Decision initiative and through other improvements to the Clean Water Act permitting process. EPA will take these actions by cooperatively working with its state and tribal co-regulators with a goal of streamlining environmental permitting and increasing investments in critical water and other infrastructure projects.

Together with the agency’s state, local, tribal and other partners, EPA achieved the following major water infrastructure accomplishments in 2018:

WIFIA

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) of 2014, EPA’s WIFIA program is the agency’s newest water financing program, which provides long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. In 2018, EPA issued seven WIFIA loans totaling nearly $2 billion to help finance over $4 billion for water infrastructure projects and create up to 6,000 jobs. In November 2018, EPA invited 39 additional projects in 16 states and Washington, D.C. to apply for a WIFIA loan. Together, these selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling approximately $5 billion to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments and create up to 155,000 jobs.

In New York, two projects are invited to apply for funding in 2019:

  • Monroe County, N.Y. is eligible to apply for a $15 million loan to fund $31 million in water infrastructure investments. The Frank E. Van Lare Secondary Treatment Upgrades project will improve wastewater treatment performance by upgrading plant infrastructure to simplify a rapid response in an emergency, improving the aeration system, and improving the secondary clarifiers.
  • The City of Cortland, N.Y. is eligible to apply for a $9 million loan to fund $19 million in water infrastructure investments. The Clinton Avenue Gateway project will replace aged water, sanitary sewer, and storm drainage, including water main, services, hydrants and valves.

State Revolving Funds

The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) play an integral role in EPA’s efforts to help communities replace or upgrade aging or inadequate drinking water and wastewater infrastructure through low-interest loans. Together, in 2018, the SRFs committed $9.6 billion in drinking water and clean water infrastructure loans and refinancing and disbursed $8.8 billion for drinking water and clean water infrastructure. This level of funding was facilitated through EPA’s contribution of $2.2 billion to the state revolving funds in 2018.

In 2018, EPA awarded $222.5 million to New York and $84.5 million to New Jersey through the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF programs. Examples of funded drinking water projects include:

  • $12 million to Newark, N.J.: The City of Newark is using SRF funding to plan and replace lead service lines that contribute to elevated lead levels in the drinking water.
  • $16.8 million to Newark, N.J.: The City of Newark received a $16.8 million loan to rehabilitate 11.5 miles of cast iron water distribution mains.
  • $4.0 million to Wappingers Falls, N.Y.: The Village of Wappingers Falls will use these funds to replace existing water distribution mains and associated hydrants, valves and water service connections. 

Examples of clean water projects include:

  • $8.9 million to Paterson, N.J.: The City of Paterson will use the SRF loan to fund a project to properly dispose of solids and floatables from combined sewer overflow sites.
  • $17.7 million to The Village of Lake George, N.Y.: The Village of Lake George is using funding from the SRF to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

For more information on the President’s Infrastructure Initiative, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/building-stronger-america-president-donald-j-trumps-american-infrastructure-initiative/ .

For more information about EPA’s WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia

For more information on the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, visit https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf

For more information on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, visit https://www.epa.gov/drinkingwatersrf

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2.

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