PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: James Lee
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron
Ohio EPA Proposes 2017 Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) Program Management Plan
Ohio EPA will hold two hearings on Monday, June 27, 2016, to discuss the Agency’s draft Program Management Plan for the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF). The fund provides financial and technical assistance for projects addressing the quality of Ohio's drinking water.
The meetings will begin at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Ohio EPA’s Center of Excellence, seventh floor, Lazarus Government Center, 50 West Town Street, Columbus. Comments will be taken until all interested persons have been heard. Written comments also can be mailed to Ohio EPA, Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or emailed to EPA.DEFAMAIL@epa.ohio.gov. All comments must be received by the close of business on June 27, 2016. Those who plan to attend must bring photo identification (such as a valid driver's license) and register at the Security desk in the lobby upon arrival.
For the 2017 program year, Ohio EPA received project nominations totaling about $362 million and will make funds available to all applicants that meet program requirements. For the first time, loans will not be capped at a maximum amount. Additionally, between $10 million and $16 million will be available in principal forgiveness for qualifying applicants in 2017. Changes to the program for 2017 include:
- accepting nominations throughout the year for interest-free planning loans for corrosion control studies and to map locations of lead service lines;
- accepting nominations throughout the year for loans to implement recommendations of corrosion control study or to replace lead service lines at the applicant’s normal interest rate;
- accepting nominations throughout the year for interest-free planning loans for projects related to treating unregulated contaminants for which U.S. EPA has an established health advisory; and
- offering an additional $50 million at zero percent interest for projects that include equipment and facilities to reduce phosphorus and other pollutants as part of Ohio’s larger strategy to address harmful algal blooms (HABs).
Except for planning and HAB loans and the items listed above, all projects eligible to receive 2017 funding must have been nominated by March 1, 2016.
The primary sources of DWAF assistance are proceeds from bond issues, available loan repayments and federal capitalization grants. Ohio EPA may issue revenue bonds to help meet the coming year’s funding requests.
Copies of the draft 2017 Program Management Plan are available to view online or by contacting EPA.DEFAMAIL@epa.ohio.gov, or calling (614) 644-3636.
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.