07/17/13
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Settles
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Provides Low-Interest Loan to City of Akron for Sewer Improvements

Ohio EPA is providing a more than $2.59 million loan to the city of Akron to fund rehabilitation of the city’s main outfall sewer. The city will repair approximately five miles of the 85-year-old sewer and supporting structures. The project will include concrete patching and reconstruction, joint sealing, headwall and pier structural improvements and manhole repairs. Work is expected to begin this summer and be complete by the end of the year.

The loan comes from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF). Akron qualified for a 2.67 percent interest rate, which will save the city an estimated $569,000 over the 20-year life of the loan when compared to the market rate of 4.42 percent.

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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