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Metropolitan Sewer District Continues Lick Run Project with Financing from Ohio EPA
Hamilton County has received two loans from Ohio EPA to finance the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati’s Project Groundwork Luck Run combined sewer overflow elimination project. The loans are among 25 projects statewide that received funding from Ohio EPA in July, totaling $475 million, a one-month record for the loan programs.
The larger loan, for $122.25 million, is financing the Lick Run Valley Conveyance System project. This project will construct approximately 5,600 feet of expanded storm sewer capacity with an open channel designed to mimic a natural stream channel plus 8,000 feet of pipe through a narrow urban corridor, reducing combined sewer overflow volumes in the Lower Mill Creek Valley.
The other loan, for $2.92 million, is to construct the Wyoming and Minion Avenues combined sewer separation project. The project consists of approximately 3,310 feet of 12- to 42-inch storm sewer to separate combined sewers and 1,670 feet of partially separated sewers. When completed in 2018, the project will add sewer capacity to minimize downstream overflow events into Lick Run.
When completed in 2021 and 2018 respectively, the projects will provide additional capacity to handle separated storm water and sanitary sewage from formerly combined sewers and minimize downstream overflow into Lick Run.
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 larger loan includes nearly $41.5 million of interest-free financing. The lower interest rates on both loans will save Hamilton County an estimated $47.16 million compared to a market-rate loan.
In addition to 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.
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.