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Ohio EPA Provides Planning and Design Loans to City of Akron
Ohio EPA is providing two more loans to the city of Akron to continue upgrading the city’s sanitary sewer and drinking water systems. Since the beginning of this year, Ohio EPA has awarded the city more than $20 million in low-interest loans for infrastructure improvements.
The latest loans also come from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF), this time to pay for planning and design projects at Akron’s Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). One loan of $333,200 will allow the WRF to evaluate anticipated changes in wastewater flows once the city completes construction of combined sewer overflow tunnels and storage basins. A second loan of $1.52 million will fund design work for rebuilding the WRF’s final settling tanks. Both five-year loans carry a low 3.59 percent interest rate.
Since 1989, the WPCLF has awarded more than $6 billion in below-market financing for sewage treatment plant upgrades and other water quality improvement projects. The program has saved borrowers more than $1.1 billion in interest. Low-interest loans also have been provided to municipalities and individuals for agricultural best management practices; home sewage system improvements; contaminated site cleanup; and landfill closures. Additionally, the WPCLF can provide 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.
The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA). Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental reviews of projects seeking funds. The OWDA provides financial management of the fund.
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.