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Oregon Changing Sewage Biosolids System to End Practice of Land Application
Project Receiving Financing from Ohio EPA
The city of Oregon is receiving a loan from Ohio EPA to build a new sewage biosolids dewatering system that will allow the material to be sent to a landfill rather than applying it to cropland.
Currently, the city applies liquid biosolids to area cropland to fertilize future crops. Once the dewatering system is installed, the city will eliminate this practice. The project’s goal is to avoid adding phosphorus to crop land in the Lake Erie basin, which may help reduce harmful algal blooms.
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 reduced interest rate on the $2.95 million loan will save the city an estimated $447,000. Oregon also is receiving a $792,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission to cover the remaining costs of the $3.74 million project.
In addition to 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.