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Central Ohio Communities Receive $16 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure
Communities in Central Ohio are receiving approximately $16 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 July 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $2.3 million.
Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $122.9 million in loans during the third quarter of 2020, including $11.4 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $28 million when compared to market-rate loans. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems. This funding includes assistance to local health districts to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems. Thus far for 2020, Ohio EPA has awarded assistance for home septic treatment to 75 counties and communities throughout the state.
For the third quarter of 2020, the following Central Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Granville is receiving $220,000 to plan and design a new lift station, holding tank, water storage tank and loading infrastructure at the Granville Water Treatment Plant.
- Columbus is receiving approximately $15 million for four projects that include constructing new storm and sanitary sewers, redirecting roof drains away from homes, replacing well pumps at the Parsons Avenue Water Plant, and making improvements to stormwater quality, inline storage and modifications to the current flood routing.
- Canal Winchester is receiving $50,000 to purchase and install a new stand-by generator. The loan includes $50,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources is receiving $698,000 to help protect approximately 6,000 linear feet of Little Darby Creek frontage and riparian corridor.
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.