PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: James Lee
Ohio EPA Offering Low Interest Loans to Finance Drinking Water Projects; March 1 Deadline for Upcoming Program Year
Ohio EPA is accepting applications for financing drinking water infrastructure improvements in communities across Ohio until March 1, 2017. Updates and highlights for the upcoming program year include:
- Principal forgiveness – Ohio EPA anticipates awarding between $6 and $8 million in principal forgiveness with a special focus on projects that address regionalization, emergency power and asset management planning;
- Lead service line replacement – Ohio EPA will offer no interest loans to projects that involve the replacement of lead service lines;
- Harmful algal blooms (HAB) – Ohio EPA will continue to offer no interest loans for eligible planning, design and construction projects that address HAB issues at surface water treatment plants; and
- Planning loans – Ohio EPA will offer no interest loans to all applicants for planning purposes. These loans can be used for a wide variety of planning activities including traditional infrastructure, treating for unregulated contaminants, as well as more specialized planning, such as asset management or corrosion control studies.
For the upcoming program year, all project nomination forms and supporting information must be submitted to epa.DEFAmail@epa.ohio.gov by March 1, 2017.
The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA) program offers below-market rate loans to eligible public water systems to fund infrastructure improvements that eliminate public health threats and ensure compliance with federal and state drinking water laws and regulations. The program is administered by Ohio EPA with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority.
Since 1998, the WSRLA has provided at least $1.2 billion in loans to Ohio communities, and saved its customers over $180 million in interest payments. Ohio EPA estimates that these loans equate to receiving 15 to 38 percent of a project’s total cost in grants when compared to market rate loans. Projects may be nominated by submitting forms and supporting documents available at http://epa.ohio.gov/defa/ofa.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.