The WIFIA funds will support water infrastructure efforts
On Apr. 27, 2021, U.S. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the 2021 notice of funding availability under the agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program.
The lending programs aim to accelerate investment in critical water infrastructure and support a wide range of projects in both large and small communities, according to EPA.
This announcement comes as Water Week kicks off and addresses water associations, utilities, and their workers.
“EPA’s $6.5 billion in water infrastructure funding will provide more than $13 billion in water infrastructure projects while creating more than 40,000 jobs,” said Regan in the EPA news release. “Today’s announcement illustrates the multiple benefits of investing in water infrastructure—better public health and environmental protection, job creation, and economic development. These benefits would be taken to new heights under President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.”
According to EPA, the WIFIA funding will provide up to $5.5 billion to support $11 billion in water infrastructure projects and prioritizes five areas:
- Reducing exposure to lead and addressing emerging contaminants;
- Supporting economically stressed communities;
- Protecting water infrastructure against the impacts of climate change;
- Updating aging infrastructure;
- And implementing new or innovative approaches including cybersecurity and green infrastructure.
Additionally, SWIFIA borrowers will be provided up to $1 billion to support $2 billion in water infrastructure projects, reported EPA.
EPA will evaluate proposed projects described in the letters of interest using WIFIA’s criteria as described in the notice of funding availability to select the projects, inviting them to apply. EPA will accept letters of interest from prospective WIFIA borrowers until Jul. 23, 2021 and EPA will accept letters of interest from state water infrastructure programs until Jun. 25, 2021.
To date, EPA's 49 WIFIA loans are providing over $9.3 billion in credit assistance to help finance nearly $20 billion for water infrastructure.