WASHINGTON (December9, 2021) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Philadelphia is among 39 municipal organizations invited to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans for a $260 million water infrastructure improvement project.
Overall, EPA anticipates that, as funds become available, $6.7 billion in WIFIA loans will help finance more than $15 billion in water infrastructure projects to protect public health and water quality across 24 states.
“Far too many communities still face significant water challenges, making these transformative investments in water infrastructure so crucial,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The WIFIA invited projects will deliver major benefits like the creation of good-paying jobs and the safeguarding of public health, especially in underserved and under-resourced communities. This program is a shining example of the public health and economic opportunities that will be achieved under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
EPA’s WIFIA program will provide selected borrowers with innovative financing tools to address pressing public health and environmental challenges in their communities. Consistent with its announced priorities, the WIFIA program is making $1.2 billion in loans available to support infrastructure needs in historically underserved communities. Additionally, 14 projects will help protect infrastructure from the impacts of extreme weather events and the climate crisis. New and innovative approaches, including cybersecurity, green infrastructure, and water reuse, are included in 24 projects.
By diversifying its geographic reach and the types of selected borrowers, the WIFIA program will also expand the types of projects it supports. For the first time, entities in Connecticut, Delaware, and Hawaii are invited to apply. Three small communities, with populations of 25,000 or less, are selected for WIFIA loans totaling nearly $62 million. In addition, seven projects submitted by private borrowers and public-private partnerships totaling over $1.5 billion in WIFIA financing are included.
EPA is also inviting state agencies in Indiana and New Jersey to apply for a total of $472 million in WIFIA loans through EPA’s state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. EPA’s SWIFIA loans are available exclusively to state infrastructure financing authority borrowers, commonly known as State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, and will allow these programs to finance more infrastructure projects in their states. These programs will combine state resources, annual capitalization grants, and the low-cost, flexible SWIFIA loans to accelerate investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure to modernize aging systems and tackle new contaminants.
Background on WIFIA
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s goal is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.
Since the first WIFIA loan closed in 2018, EPA has announced 63 WIFIA loans that are providing over $12 billion in credit assistance to help finance approximately $26 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 73,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $4.5 billion. EPA received 50 letters of interest from public and private entities as well as State Infrastructure Financing Authorities in response to the 2021 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and the 2021 State Infrastructure Financing Authorities WIFIA NOFA.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.
For more information about the SWIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/what-swifia