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EPA Invites Lancaster to Apply for Water Infrastructure Loans
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 11/07/2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting the City of Lancaster, Pa. and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. Lancaster has been invited to apply for a $22 million loan to implement sewer system improvements. The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority has been invited to apply for $144 million to conduct a comprehensive infrastructure repair, rehabilitation and replacement program.

"Through WIFIA, EPA is playing an integral role in President Trump's efforts to improve and upgrade our nation's water infrastructure and ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe water," said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "This year, EPA will help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments that will create up to 155,000 jobs, upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce lead exposure, and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country."

After a robust, statutorily required review process, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority were among 39 projects selected nationwide from a group of 62 prospective borrowers, representing large and small communities, who submitted letters of interest to EPA in response to the 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Together, the selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling up to $5 billion to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments and create up to 155,000 jobs.

The Lancaster sewer system improvement would contribute to the potential elimination of two combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to improve water quality, evaluate, and implement groundwater removal from the sewer system, and provide a conduit for the re-direction of stormwater currently entering the combined sewer system.

The District Water and Sewer Authority's comprehensive infrastructure repair, rehabilitation and replacement program will rehabilitate, upgrade, and/or replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure throughout the system. The purpose of the program is to efficiently distribute drinking water and collect, treat, and discharge wastewater to protect the public and reduce nutrient loads and combined sewer overflows to local water bodies.

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA's WIFIA loans will allow large and small communities across the country to implement projects to address two national water priorities -- providing for clean and safe drinking water including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants and addressing aging water infrastructure.

To date, EPA has issued four loans totaling over $1 billion in WIFIA credit assistance. Combined, these four projects will create over 5,000 jobs.

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