President Trump signs Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program received an additional $8 million for credit subsidy in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump May 5, 2017.
This additional funding, combined with the $17 million appropriated for credit subsidy in December 2016, will allow the WIFIA program to lend approximately $1.5 billion for water infrastructure projects, a key component of the president’s infrastructure agenda.
“Thanks to President Trump and Congress, this additional funding will accelerate the construction of projects to meet communities’ water infrastructure needs. This investment will empower states, municipalities, companies, and public-private partnerships to solve real environmental problems in our communities, like the need for clean and safe water,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
In response to the Notice of Funding Availability issued Jan. 10, 2017, EPA received 43 letters of interest for WIFIA loans from public and private entities with a collective request of $6 billion in WIFIA loans. These letters demonstrate the high need to invest in water infrastructure improvements in communities across the nation and the value that WIFIA financing can offer.
Combined with other sources, such as EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans, private equity, and municipal bonds, these projects' cost could address more than $12 billion in infrastructure needs. Entities are seeking financing for an array of water and wastewater projects, including repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of aging treatment plants and pipe systems and construction of new infrastructure for desalination, water recycling, and drought mitigation.
EPA is currently evaluating projects’ eligibility, credit worthiness, engineering feasibility, and alignment with WIFIA’s statutory and regulatory criteria. Through this competitive process, EPA will select projects that it intends to fund and invite them to continue to the application process this summer.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a new federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in our nation’s water by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.