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Marietta Upgrading Wastewater Plant, Sponsoring Wetland Restoration Project with Financing from Ohio EPA
Marietta has received financing from Ohio EPA for the next phase of the city’s wastewater treatment plant upgrade plan. The city also is sponsoring a project to restore high quality wetlands in northeast Ohio.
Marietta is upgrading its wastewater treatment plant to maintain compliance with regulations and in anticipation of sanitary flows from several outlying areas currently served by failing septic systems. The Marietta project includes construction of two new final clarifiers, new pumps, ultraviolet disinfection equipment, a new outfall sewer and electrical, instrumentation and control equipment.
Marietta has elected to direct a portion of the interest on its loan to fund the Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Bloomfield Swamp restoration project. Through Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP), the city will receive an additional 0.1 percent interest rate discount. Marietta’s sponsorship will provide up to $1.91 million toward the restoration and permanent protection of 245 acres of high quality wetlands along Snyder Ditch in northern Trumbull and southern Ashtabula counties. The ditch forms part of the headwaters of Rock Creek, which is a major tributary of Grand River, a significant water resource in northeast Ohio.
The lower interest rate on the $9.58 million loan will save Marietta an estimated $2.55 million compared to market-rate loans. The city also is receiving a $250,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission toward the project’s cost. Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems.
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.