8/30/13
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Strouse
CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Jefferson County Project Receives Ohio EPA Loan to Replace Infrastructure, Improve Water Quality and Public Health

Ohio EPA has issued a $877,906 low-interest loan to the city of Toronto to help replace existing waterlines and re-establish a reliable water distribution system. The project will provide a safe supply of water to the community.

As part of the loan from Ohio’s Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), the city qualifies for a below-market interest rate of 2 percent, with $260,635 of the total available as principal forgiveness (which does not need to be repaid). This should save an estimated $750,000 over the 30-year life of the loan when compared to the market rate. A $100,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant and a $390,000 grant/loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission will pay for the remaining costs of the approximately $2 million project.

Toronto will replace approximately two miles of aged and deteriorated water main in 12 areas. Construction on the project will begin this month and is expected to be completed within four months.

Started in 1998, the Ohio Water Supply Revolving Loan Account has provided more than $1 billion in loans with below-market interest rates for compliance-related improvements to public water systems. The program has saved public water systems more than $243 million in interest. Additionally, the WSRLA can provide technical assistance to public water 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 jointly managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance and Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental reviews of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority 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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