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Ohio EPA Assists Ashtabula County Community with Sewer Line Improvements

Ohio EPA is providing an interest-free loan to the city of Conneaut to replace an above-ground sanitary sewer line running through an environmentally sensitive area. The more than $339,000 loan was secured through Ohio’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) and will be paired with $154,500 from the Ohio Public Works Commission to cover all costs. The no-interest WPCLF loan will save the city an estimated $167,000 over the 20-year life of the loan when compared to the market rate.

A 2010 inspection found the existing 50-year-old aerial sewer line in poor condition. Conneaut wants to replace the line before a break or collapse causes raw sewage to discharge into Kelsey’s Run and Lake Erie. The city plans to remove the existing aerial sewer line from across the ravine and replace it close by with new elevated pipe supported on concrete piers. Work is expected to begin this summer and will take approximately 10 months to complete.

Since 1989, the WPCLF has awarded more than $6 billion in below-market financing for sewage treatment plant upgrades and other water quality improvement projects. The program has saved borrowers more than $1.1 billion in interest.  Low-interest loans also have been provided to municipalities and individuals for agricultural best management practices; home sewage system improvements; contaminated site cleanup; and landfill closures.  Additionally, the WPCLF can provide 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.

This state revolving loan fund is 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, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA). Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental reviews of projects seeking funds. The OWDA provides financial management of the fund.

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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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