PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron
Ohio EPA Releases Draft 2021 Drinking Water Assistance Fund Program Management Plan
Ohio EPA will hold virtual public hearings on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to accept public comments on the draft 2021 Program Management Plan for the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF). The fund provides financial and technical assistance for a variety of projects that help improve or protect the quality of Ohio's drinking water.
During the virtual hearings, the public can submit written comments that will be read into the record by the hearing host. The virtual hearing may be accessed through Ohio EPA’s website at http://epa.ohio.gov/virtual.
Individuals should preregister for the virtual meeting. On the day of the hearing, registered participants should join 10 minutes before the start time to ensure proper connectivity.
For DWAF program year 2021, which runs from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, Ohio EPA received project nominations totaling approximately $764 million. Funds are available to all applicants that meet program requirements.
Ohio EPA plans to offer up to $13.4 million in principal forgiveness to eligible projects. Principal forgiveness is the portion of a loan that is not required to be repaid. High-scoring disadvantaged community and regionalization projects will be prioritized to receive principal forgiveness. Additional principal forgiveness is expected to be available for lead service line replacement projects in program year 2021.
Ohio EPA will offer discounted loans for projects addressing Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) issues, lead service line replacement and regionalization projects.
In addition to projects identified in the draft 2021 Program Management Plan, the following may be nominated any time during the program year: planning and design, lead service line replacement, HAB and PFAS projects.
The primary sources of funds in the DWAF program are proceeds from bond issues, repayments of previously awarded loans and annual federal capitalization grants. Additional principal forgiveness funding from other sources is planned for lead service line replacement projects. More information is available in the highlights section of the Program Management Plan.
Copies of the Draft 2021 Program Management Plan are available online by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (614) 644-2798. Written comments may be submitted during the virtual public hearing or emailed to email@example.com. All comments received by close of business June 15, 2020, will be considered by Ohio EPA before a final action is taken on this proposal.
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.