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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received 50 letters of interest in response to the agency’s 2021 Notices of Funding Availability. Requests totaling $8.2 billion exceed the agency’s $6.5 billion in available financing and highlight widespread needs for water infrastructure upgrades to benefit communities across the country.
“Investing in water infrastructure protects people from pollution, builds resiliency against climate change, and creates good paying jobs,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These financing programs have a proven track record of return on investment that delivers powerful economic and environmental benefits to communities across the country.”
EPA received 48 letters of interest for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and 2 letters of interest in response to the agency’s State Infrastructure Financing Authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. The 2021 letters of interest cover a wide variety of water infrastructure needs, including reducing lead and emerging contaminants, protecting against the impacts of climate change, updating aging infrastructure, and implementing new or innovative approaches such as cybersecurity and green infrastructure. Prospective borrowers include municipal government agencies, corporations, public-private partnerships, and small communities.
The agency received letters of interest from prospective borrowers located in 25 states and Washington, D.C., including four states that are seeking WIFIA loans for the first time. With these letters of interest, borrowers in 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam, have requested WIFIA loans. Since the program began in 2017, EPA has received requests totaling over $35 billion.
On April 27, 2021, EPA announced $6.5 billion in available WIFIA and SWIFIA financing. As the next step in this competitive process, EPA will evaluate the letters for project eligibility, creditworthiness, engineering feasibility, and alignment with WIFIA’s statutory and regulatory selection criteria. Later this year, the agency will identify projects it intends to finance and invite those selected entities to submit formal applications. See the full list of letters of interest submitted.
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 aim 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 closing the first loan in 2018, EPA has closed 52 WIFIA loans that are providing $10.5 billion in credit assistance to help finance $23 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 54,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $4 billion.
For more information about the WIFIA program’s accomplishments through 2020, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-annual-report.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia
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