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Toledo to Improve Wastewater Treatment and Protect High-Quality Wetlands; Receives Financing from Ohio EPA
Toledo will improve water quality in the Maumee River when the city installs an underground storage pipeline and basin to help minimize the effects of combined sewer overflows via its E3 International Park Storage Pipeline project. The project will be paid for in part through a $26.2 million low-interest loan from Ohio EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.
Water from rain and snow melt infiltrates Toledo’s sewer systems. The additional water mixes with raw sanitary sewage and overwhelms the city’s ability to clean the water before discharging to the Maumee River. This project will allow the city to store the excess flow which can then be sent in a more measured way through the wastewater treatment plant.
Through Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, Toledo also will be able to direct part of the interest from the loan repayment to fund the Kitty Todd Preserve Wetlands Addition project that will be implemented by The Nature Conservancy. The project will purchase and restore 40 acres of high-quality wetland and upland buffer to expand the protected Oak Openings habitat.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. The reduced interest rate on the $26,213,645.88 loan will save Toledo $3,868,000.
In addition to improvements to publicly owned treatment works, WPCLF loans have funded agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements, landfill closures and water quality-based storm water projects. The WPCLF provides technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.
Ohio EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.
More information about the WPCLF is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.