EPA quantifies positive water infrastructure loan program results

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The inaugural Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) annual report shows the program financing more than $3.5 billion in loans behind projects valued in excess of $8 billion and helping improve water quality for more than 20 million citizens. Through 2019, the program closed 14 loans, ranging from $20.7 million to $699 million and saving borrowers $1.2 billion. 

“WIFIA success is a key component of President Trump’s efforts to modernize our aging infrastructure, strengthen public health protections, and create jobs,” says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “WIFIA has proven to be a tremendous tool in achieving environmental protections and fostering economic growth in communities across the country.”

Established by Congress in 2014, the EPA federal loan and guarantee program provides long-term, low-cost supplemental assistance to creditworthy drinking water and wastewater projects of national and regional significance. Loans can finance traditional drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and conveyance systems; water recycling and desalination plants; drought prevention or mitigation projects; stormwater management or green infrastructure; plus, non-point source pollution control and source-water protection. Eligible WIFIA borrowers include local, state, tribal, and federal government entities; partnerships and joint ventures; corporations and trusts; and, State Revolving Fund programs. Of WIFIA loan-backed projects to date, 57 percent directly support Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act compliance. In 2019, EPA invited 38 new projects to apply for WIFIA loans, totaling approximately $6 billion to help finance over $12 billion in water infrastructure investments.  —  www.epa.gov/wifia