EPA awards $41 million to Washington for critical water projects loans
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is awarding over $41 million to Washington’s clean water and drinking water revolving funds to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be used to finance water quality protection and drinking water projects that will last far into the future.
The $41,450,000 in additional funding announced today will be used across Washington for water quality projects that will reduce water pollution, improve municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, make projects more sustainable by increasing water and energy efficiency, and provide technical assistance to communities.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, administrated by the Washington Department of Ecology, was awarded $23,056,000. The program provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from rain water runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.
Since 1987, Washington has received more than $748 million in annual CWSRF capitalization grants. Combined with state match and repayments, the Department of Ecology has provided more than $1.7 billion in low-interest CWSRF loans for water quality and wastewater projects. Some of the projects that have received funding through the CWSRF include:
- Major expansion of Chambers Creek WWTP in Pierce County to increase capacity, including an innovative nitrogen removal system.
- Re-routing Squalicum Creek in Bellingham – 3000 feet of degraded stream re-routed, 2200 feet of new channel constructed; benefits include increased and improved habitat for endangered salmon, educational and recreation areas. In 2013 this project was awarded Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association
- Murray CSO Storage Facility, King County – one-million gallon underground stormwater storage tank, diversion structure, retaining wall, and above ground maintenance facility.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, administrated by the Washington Department of Health, was allotted $18,394,000. The program provides low-interest loans (in 2016 the average interest rate across the U.S. was 1.7 percent) to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities.
Since the program’s program inception in 1997, the state of Washington has received $447 million in annual DWSRF capitalization grants. Those funds, along with state match and repayments, has allowed Washington to provide more than $850 million in DWSRF loans. “We really appreciate having this new infusion of grant funding every year,” said Garin Schrieve, Director, Washington Department of Health’s Drinking Water Program. “The funding helps pay for construction of important drinking water infrastructure projects, and it also supports implementation of Washington’s drinking water program.”
DWSRF projects in Washington that have received funding from previous capitalization grants include the City of Auburn’s transmission main replacement, pre-treatment upgrades for the City of Bellingham, Union Gap reservoir upgrades, and construction of Tacoma’s Green River Filtration Facility.
Michelle Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10 said, “While the State of Washington has some of the best drinking water and water quality in the country, water infrastructure ages and needs to be upgraded and repaired. EPA’s funding helps Washington continue its program to invest in drinking water and wastewater systems and protect people’s health”
In addition to providing grant funds through the SRFs and other programs, EPA technical experts and managers provide their expertise to local, state, and tribal grant recipients on strategy development, research, technical needs, and compliance and enforcement.
For a list of drinking water projects slated to be funded this year, please click here:
For a list of clean water projects slated to be funded this year, please click here: