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CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle
Ohio EPA Funding Improvements to Indian Creek Wastewater Plant
Hamilton County Project Also Benefitting Mill Creek Restoration
Hamilton County has been awarded a loan from Ohio EPA to upgrade the Indian Creek wastewater treatment plant. The project will further improve the plant’s safety and efficiency and protect water quality in the Ohio River.
The Indian Creek wastewater treatment plant, which discharges to the Ohio River, is in good operating condition. The loan will fund upgrades to the plant, including replacing pumps, adding motorized slide gates and installing a flow meter.
In addition, the county is sponsoring the Mill Creek Restoration at Hartwell Golf Course project through Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP). The Hartwell Golf Course project will restore 3,600 feet of Mill Creek to a natural channel design to reduce bank and channel erosion, reduce sediment and nutrient transport and reduce the occurrence of debris dams in the stream channel.
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 loan is for $7.345 million. By sponsoring the Mill Creek project, the county receives an additional 0.1 percent discount on the low-interest loan offered through the WPCLF. The low-interest rate loan will save the county an estimated $1.2 million.
In addition, improvements to publicly owned treatment works, WPCLF loans have been provided for 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.
The WRRSP was created in 2000 to counter the loss of ecological function and biological diversity that jeopardizes the health of Ohio’s water resources. The program uses interest monies from WPCLF sponsor projects to fund both preservation and restoration of aquatic habitat to accomplish this goal. Interest monies from this Hamilton County loan will provide $1.437 million for the Mill Creek project.
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.