12/28/20
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce

Ohio EPA has finalized the Agency’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) 2021 Program Management Plan. The fund provides financial and technical assistance for wastewater infrastructure and restoration projects that improve the quality of Ohio's rivers, streams, lakes, and other water bodies.

Ohio EPA received project nominations that total more than $2.6 billion for fiscal year 2021 and will make loan funds available to all applicants that meet program requirements. Up to $35.7 million will be available in 2021 for principal forgiveness (the portion of a loan that a borrower does not have to repay). Principal forgiveness funding will be directed toward wastewater regionalization projects, household sewage treatment systems, other wastewater-related projects, and back-up power facilities.

The plan also makes $50 million available interest-free to promote regional approaches to managing wastewater infrastructure and $50 million interest-free for nutrient reduction projects to help manage harmful algal blooms. Up to $15 million is available to fund projects under the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, which allows borrowers to divert a portion of their interest payments toward projects that improve the ecological function and biodiversity of Ohio’s waters.

Except for planning, design, and nutrient reduction loans, all projects eligible to receive 2021 funding must have been nominated by Aug. 31, 2020. The primary sources of WPCLF assistance are proceeds from bond issues, available loan repayments, and federal capitalization grants. Ohio EPA may issue revenue bonds to help in meeting the coming year’s funding requests.

Since 2011, Ohio has invested more than $10 billion in WPCLF funding for key infrastructure and restoration projects to improve water quality statewide.

A virtual public hearing was held Dec. 3 about the draft plan. The final 2021 Program Management Plan is available on the web or by contacting the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance at defamail@epa.ohio.gov or calling (614) 644-2798.

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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.

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