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Water infrastructure investment gets boost from EPA

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WASHINGTON DC, MAY 3, 2017 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program received 43 letters of interest from prospective borrowers for projects to update our nation's water infrastructure. EPA's WIFIA program will provide $1 billion in credit to finance over $2 billion in water infrastructure investments. EPA received letters from entities seeking loans for the program from all over the country, demonstrating the high demand from businesses seeking to invest in the economy and local communities.

"As a federal-local-private partnership, this program will help expand water infrastructure systems to meet the needs of growing communities. This investment will empower states, municipalities, companies, and public-private partnerships to solve real environmental problems in our communities, like the need for clean and safe water," said EPA Administrator Pruitt.

WIFIA credit assistance can be used for a wide-range of projects, from drinking water treatment to seawater desalination and drought mitigation to water recycling. About a third of prospective borrowers indicated they plan to co-finance their projects with other funding tools available through EPA, the Drinking Water or the Clean Water State Revolving Funds. WIFIA works separately from, but in coordination with, the State Revolving Fund programs to provide subsidized financing for large dollar-value projects. By combining the benefits of the WIFIA and SRF programs, more communities can benefit from innovative loans and financing.

EPA issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) on January 10, 2017, to solicit letters of interest from prospective borrowers seeking WIFIA credit assistance. For its initial project selection round, EPA announced availability of up to $17 million of budget authority appropriated for the WIFIA program to provide credit assistance. EPA estimates this budget authority will provide approximately $1 billion in credit assistance and finance over $2 billion in water infrastructure investment. The deadline for submission was April 10, 2017.

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a new federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in our nation's water by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia

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