PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Proposes 2014 Drinking Water Loan Program Plan

Ohio EPA has proposed guidelines for the intended use of loan funds to upgrade public drinking water treatment systems and is accepting comments through July 2, 2013.

Two public meetings have been scheduled to discuss the proposed 2014 Program Management and Intended Use Plan on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Ohio EPA, Lazarus Government Center, 50 West Town Street, Conference Room A, Columbus. All interested parties will be permitted to provide comments for the record. Those planning to attend should bring a photo ID.

The total loan amount available for 2014 will be limited to $150 million. Funding can be used for capital improvements, to community and non-profit, non-community public water systems that have qualifying projects.

Major changes proposed for the 2014 program year include:

  • green project reserve requirements have been removed;
  • additional subsidies should not exceed 30 percent of the capitalization grant and not be less than 20 percent of the capitalization grant;
  • a waiver will remove the requirement for a two-week interview process with labor wage earners;
  • more points are proposed for correcting public health threats and good business practices;
  • the total amount of principal forgiveness available this program year will be limited by the subsidy requirements of the capitalization grant;
  • Rural Communities Assistance Program (RCAP) Courses must be completed by loan recipients prior to loan award;
  • all applicants will be screened for their overall capability, and areas of concern must be addressed prior to loan award or through the project being funded;
  • regionalization, including shared services, will be prioritized this year in selecting fundable projects and will include discounts on loan interest rates; and
  • to be eligible for WSRLA funds in Program Year 2015, all nomination forms must be submitted via email. Paper copies and faxes will no longer be accepted.

The main purpose of the Drinking Water Assistance Fund is to provide financial assistance to eligible public water systems to bring and keep their systems in compliance with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and Ohio statutes and regulations.

Written comments must be submitted by the close of business on July 2, 2013. They should be submitted to Ohio EPA, Attention: Susan Schell, Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or susan.schell@epa.ohio.gov.

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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. In the past 40 years, 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. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.

 


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