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Northeast Ohio Communities Receive $209 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure
Communities in Northeast Ohio are receiving approximately $209 million in low-interest and principal forgiveness funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between April 1 and June 30, 2018.
The lower interest rates and forgiven principal will save these communities more than $48 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $374 million in loans, including more than $22 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, this will save Ohio communities more than $83.6 million compared to market-rate loans.
The following Northeast Ohio projects are receiving funding.
- Elyria and Girard received approximately $22 million to upgrade their wastewater plants in order to reduce combined sewer overflow events.
- Summit, Holmes, Mahoning, Lorain, Ashtabula, Portage and Cuyahoga counties received $200,000 each in principal forgiveness loans to help replace failing home sewage treatment systems.
- Cuyahoga County received more than $215,000 to construct a new gravity sewer connection, serving approximately 50 homes with failing septic systems.
- Avon Lake received more than $2.1 million to construct an emergency interconnect to the Elyria water system.
- Ashtabula received approximately $1.1 million to rehabilitate the existing anaerobic digesters.
- Lorain received more than $3.8 million to install new water mains.
- Trumbull County received approximately $15.6 million to construct a water distribution system, enabling it to consolidate several public water systems.
- Silver Lake received more than $740,000 to replace an existing sanitary sewer, eliminating overflow into residents’ homes.
- Chardon received approximately $4.3 million to upgrade aging sewer lines and water mains.
- Youngstown received more than $9.9 million to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment plant electrical system.
- Canton received approximately $2.3 million to construct 1.8 miles of water line to 90 homes, 29 commercial properties and Canton Local Schools bus garage.
- Barberton received $369,562 to replace the main facility electrical switchgear and other improvements to accommodate new equipment.
- East Liverpool and Louisville received more than $40,000 to complete asset management plans.
- Warren received approximately $2.5 million to design improvements to the city’s pump stations and wastewater treatment plant.
- The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District received more than $141 million to construct a storage tunnel to capture and store combined sewer overflow.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to a market-rate loan.
Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage storm water, address combined sewer overflows and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design and construction activities and enhances the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.
Ohio’s SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the SRF funds.
More information about the SRF loan program is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.
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.