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Oregon Continuing Sewer Improvements; City Receives Funding from Ohio EPA
The City of Oregon is continuing its sanitary sewer rehabilitation initiative to reduce infiltration and inflow of storm water into the sanitary sewers. This year, the city is beginning phase three of the project, which is eliminating sewer overflows that pose risks to public health from exposure to untreated sewage.
The city is funding the project with a low-interest loan from Ohio EPA.
Phase three involves general repair and lining of sewers, including rehabilitating a trunk sewer, replacing or lining pipes and lining sanitary sewer manholes. This is one of several phases of work required by the city’s wastewater discharge permit.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. The city is receiving a 1.99 percent interest rate on its $1.82 million loan. The reduced interest rate will save the city an estimated $272,116 compared to a conventional, market-rate loan.
Total cost of the project is $2,120,350. The remaining portion of the financing comes from $300,000 in grant and loan funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
Besides improvements to publicly owned treatment works, WPCLF loans have been provided for agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements, landfill closures and water quality-based storm water projects. The WPCLF provides technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing 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 EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The loan program is 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 fund.
More information about the WPCLF 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.