Three Missouri Projects Are Invited to Apply for WIFIA Loans to Finance $238 Million in Water Infrastructure Upgrades

Environmental News (Lenexa, Kan., Nov. 1, 2018) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting three Missouri projects to apply for $238 million in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. Kansas City, Missouri, is invited to apply for a $51 million loan for their Water Services Blue River Wastewater Treatment...

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(Lenexa, Kan., Nov. 1, 2018) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting three Missouri projects to apply for $238 million in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans.

Kansas City, Missouri, is invited to apply for a $51 million loan for their Water Services Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Biosolids Facility Project. American Water Capital Corporation has been invited to apply for a $103 million loan for their Joplin, Missouri, Water Supply Reservoir Project, and for a $84 million loan for their St. Louis Area Water Main Replacement and Lead Abatement Program.

The Blue River WWTP Biosolids Facility Project will replace and rehabilitate the existing facility constructed in the 1960s. The improvements to the solids management processes will meet anticipated solids capacity, reliability, and regulatory requirements through 2035. The purpose of the project is to: 1) improve the overall condition and capacity of the current facilities; 2) comply with new effluent discharge permit limits, solids management requirements, and potential future permit requirements and land application site limitations; 3) improve treatment efficiency and reliability; and 4) optimize operational improvements to reduce operation and maintenance costs or provide more reliable and consistent operation.

The Joplin Water Supply Reservoir Project will construct a new dam, reservoir, and pumping facilities to provide a reliable water supply source for the Joplin area. The proposed dam will create a 1,000- to 1,500-acre water supply reservoir that will hold approximately 12 billion gallons of water. The purpose of the project is to address the critical and growing water supply shortage for the Joplin region in southwest Missouri and relieve regional water supply challenges by alleviating pressure on the Ozark Aquifer.

The St. Louis Area Water Main Replacement and Lead Abatement Program will include the replacement of approximately 100 miles of main and adjacent, customer-owned lead service lines. These replacements would directly provide new pipes and service lines to over 20,000 individuals and hundreds of businesses, schools, hospitals, and other public buildings. The purpose of the program is to proactively replace aged water mains to reduce main breaks and replace adjacent, customer-owned lead service lines to eliminate the risk of lead leaching into the drinking water.

“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing an integral role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure and ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe water,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This year, EPA will help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments that will create up to 155,000 jobs, upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce lead exposure, and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country.”

EPA’s WIFIA loans will allow large and small communities across the country to implement projects to address two national water priorities – providing for clean and safe drinking water including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants and addressing aging water infrastructure.

EPA received 62 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). After a robust, statutorily required review process, the WIFIA Selection Committee chose the 39 prospective borrowers’ projects to submit applications for loans. To learn more about the 39 projects that are invited to apply, visit EPA’s website.

Of the selected projects, 12 projects will reduce lead or other drinking water contaminants and 37 will address aging infrastructure. Eight prospective borrowers submitted letters of interest in response to the 2017 NOFA, resubmitted them for 2018, and are now invited to proceed in the 2018 funding round.

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. To date, EPA has issued four loans totaling over $1 billion in WIFIA credit assistance. Combined, these four projects will create over 5,000 jobs.

According to EPA's estimate of national drinking water and wastewater needs, over $743 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements. EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in fulfilling this need and in the President’s Infrastructure Plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit www.epa.gov/wifia.

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Source: www.epa.gov