The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that New Castle County is among 39 municipal organizations nationwide invited to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans.
The county is seeking $32 million to support ongoing rehabilitation work on the Christina River Force Main Project, which will construct about 1,500 feet of new force main pipe across the Christina River and connect it to the Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant.
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 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.
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’s SWIFIA loans are available exclusively to state infrastructure financing authority borrowers, commonly known as State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.