2/11/20
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Requests Nominations for Drinking Water Projects Needing Financial Assistance

Ohio EPA is accepting nominations for drinking water infrastructure improvements that need financial assistance through the state’s Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA).

In order to be considered for Program Year 2021 funding, all project nomination forms and supporting information must be submitted by email to defamail@epa.ohio.gov by March 4, 2020.

“Beginning with my H2Ohio initiative, we have made it a priority to help Ohio communities have access to funding for drinking water projects,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “I encourage community leaders throughout the state to consider using the state revolving loan account to help provide continued, safe drinking water for your residents.”

 Highlights for Program Year 2021 priorities include:

  • About $10 million in principal forgiveness will be offered. Principal forgiveness refers to the principal portion of a loan that does not require repayment. Priority for principal forgiveness loans will be given to projects focused on lead service line replacement, regionalization, and extending water service to residential areas currently using contaminated private wells or wells with inadequate supply.
  • Lead service line replacement projects will be a special area of emphasis for principal forgiveness funding over the next two years. In addition to the $10 million mentioned above, additional principal forgiveness is anticipated during the program year.
  • Zero percent interest rates will be offered to projects focused on PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) remediation, lead service line replacement, system regionalization, project planning and design, and harmful algal bloom (HAB) issues.

Construction projects must by nominated by March 4, 2020; planning and design, PFAS remediation, lead service line replacement, and HAB projects may be nominated any time during the program year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit projects during the nomination period for consideration of funding from WSRLA as well as other funds that may become available during the program year, such as H2Ohio.

The WSRLA offers below-market rate loans to eligible public water systems to fund infrastructure improvements that eliminate public health threats and ensure compliance with federal and state drinking water laws and regulations.

The program is administered by Ohio EPA with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Since 1998, the WSRLA has provided over $1.6 billion in community loan assistance and saved its customers more than $240 million in interest expense. 

Projects may be nominated by following instructions and forms available at https://epa.ohio.gov/defa/ofa#1696510030-wsrla. The 2021 program year is July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021.

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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.

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