On behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), Kari Evans, Policy Director for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, presented the Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Successes (PISCES) award this week to Mayor Jan Mills, recognizing the City of West Lafayette, Ind. for its environmental stewardship.
West Lafayette is the first in Indiana to receive a PISCES Award from the U.S. EPA, which recognized only 30 communities nationally with awards this year. The West Lafayette project earned recognition for its innovative method to treat fats, oils and grease (FOG) at the treatment plant and the related cogeneration facility, which allows the FOG received at the plant to be treated in well-mixed digesters to produce methane and an earth-like byproduct. The resulting methane gas will then be used as a substitute for natural gas to generate electricity, resulting in energy and cost savings for the treatment plant and its customers.
"The City of West Lafayette has proven itself to be a leader in environmental stewardship, and Governor Daniels congratulates the community on a job well done," said Evans. "We hope that West Lafayette will pave the way for other communities to find new and creative ways to care for our environment in the future."
The upgrades to the wastewater treatment process were financed through an $8.3 million State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan. By utilizing the SRF Program, which offers lower-than-market interest rates, utility users saved approximately $2.2 million in interest over the 20-year life of the loan when compared to the average open market rates.
Governor Mitch Daniels created the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) in 2005 to more effectively manage State-related financial programs such as the Wastewater and Drinking Water SRF Programs under one entity. Since the inception of the IFA, the SRF Programs have loaned more than $492 million to local communities at below-market interest rates, saving utility customers more than $82 million in interest.