The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the first loan issued through a new water infrastructure financing program.
The new program, the State Infrastructure Financing Authority Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (SWIFIA) program, provides loans exclusively to state infrastructure financing authority borrowers, commonly known as state revolving fund programs.
The first SWIFIA loan amounted to $500 million and went to the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank to modernize wastewater and drinking water systems.
“The EPA is thrilled to announce our first SWIFIA loan to New Jersey, a state that is making great strides in utilizing water infrastructure investments to improve access to clean, safe water for all residents,” says EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With EPA’s low-interest WIFIA loan, New Jersey will invest in over 90 communities across the Garden State and create about 16,000 jobs while saving approximately $62.5 million. The Biden Administration is proud to expand our successful WIFIA program to now offer dedicated loans to state infrastructure financing authorities.”
The SWIFIA program is housed within EPA’s WIFIA program. SWIFIA loans allow state infrastructure finance authorities to offer additional low-cost financing to communities and accelerate important water infrastructure projects.
Thanks to EPA’s SWIFIA loan and funding from the New Jersey State Revolving Fund provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, over 90 communities across the Garden State will be able to implement critical water infrastructure projects to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, manage flooding, and improve climate change resiliency. Projects that will receive SWIFIA funding are located throughout the state, including in 36 small communities and 39 disadvantaged communities.
“From critical resilience projects to the replacement of lead service lines, New Jersey remains at the forefront of innovative water infrastructure solutions,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “The EPA’s SWIFIA loan will further solidify New Jersey’s status as a national model for water infrastructure, which serves as the foundation for healthy communities. In addition to helping our state secure safe, healthy, and efficient wastewater and drinking water systems for all New Jerseyans, the EPA’s support will also help generate good-paying jobs in our expanding water workforce.”
More information on funding and applications for a WIFIA or SWIFIA loan is available on EPA’s website here.