12/30/16
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: James Lee
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Finalizes 2017 Water Pollution Control Loan Fund Program Management Plan

Ohio EPA has finalized the 2017 Program Management Plan for the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF). The fund provides financial and technical assistance to projects that improve the quality of Ohio's rivers, streams, lakes and other water bodies.


Since 2011, Ohio has invested more than $3.5 billion in addressing key infrastructure issues that help improve water quality statewide. These creative programs tackle challenges like Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS). For example, in Program Years (PY) 2015 and 2016, in response to HABs and their potential effect on drinking water systems, Ohio EPA made $100 million available at zero percent interest to projects that helped reduce phosphorus and other nutrients being discharged into Ohio’s water bodies.


Ohio EPA is continuing to work aggressively to use available funding to accelerate fixing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) as part of the state’s comprehensive strategy to reduce excess nutrients in Ohio watersheds (particularly those that feed into Lake Erie). This innovative three-year strategy comes after discussions with community leaders about how the Agency could reshape state programs to help advance services, while also saving communities significant dollars in the long term.


Building on these successes, in PY2017, Ohio EPA is offering an additional $100 million at a zero percent interest rate for these types of projects. Additionally, starting in PY2017, Ohio EPA is proposing to commit an additional $300 million (at zero percent interest) over the next three years for projects that address CSOs. This special “call for nominations” began in early Nov. 2016 and is outside the regular annual nomination cycle for projects.


For PY2017, Ohio EPA received project nominations which total approximately $1.7 billion, and is making funds available to all applicants that meet program requirements. Additionally, up to $30 million is available as principal forgiveness. Principal forgiveness projects that are within the funding range and meet all program requirements will receive the amount they requested during the nomination period. If final project costs exceed the amount requested, the Agency will provide remaining balance in the form of a low-interest loan.


Nominations for WPCLF funded projects are typically received by the end of August each year. Copies of the final 2017 Program Management Plan and supporting documents are available online or by contacting defamail@epa.ohio.gov or calling (614) 644-2798.


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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.


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