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Northeast Ohio Communities Receive $29.6 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements
$97.8 Million in Low-Interest Loans Awarded Statewide in the Second Quarter of 2021
Communities in Northeast Ohio are receiving more than $29.6 million in low-interest rate 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, 2021. Lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $7.6 million.
Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $97.8 million in loans during the second quarter of 2021, including $17 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $30 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.
For the second quarter of 2021, the following Northeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is receiving $12.9 million for three projects, which includes replacing several pieces of equipment at the Southerly and Westerly Wastewater Treatment Centers, and providing technical support for flow monitoring and hydraulic modeling.
- Akron is receiving $1.7 million to replace deteriorating water mains.
- Kent is receiving $2 million to replace two aging pump stations.
- Mount Eaton is receiving $2.5 million to construct two new wells at a new water treatment plant. The loan includes $1.4 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid. The project also received a $500,000 H2Ohio grant.
- Summit County is receiving $315,942 to design a new pump station to replace an existing one.
- ABC Water and Stormwater District is receiving $1.1 million for two projects which includes replacing three undersized culverts in Boardman Township to meet county drainage standards, and developing a stormwater plan for Indian Run.
- Alliance is receiving $1 million to replace lead service lines with copper lines. The drinking water loan includes $1 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Aurora is receiving $6.4 million to replace a sludge digestor and tank holding system, along with other plant upgrades.
- Garrettsville is receiving $529,907 to replace water mains and add new service connections.
- Health Departments, Districts, and County Commissions in the following counties are receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of household sewage treatment systems: Ashtabula, Carroll, Cuyahoga, Mahoning, Medina, Summit, and Trumbull counties.
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 stormwater, 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.