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Ohio EPA Helps Lorain County Community Reduce Combined Sewer Overflows
Ohio EPA has provided the city of Avon Lake with two loans for projects that will reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to Lake Erie. The city’s projects are among 25 projects statewide that received funding in July, totaling $475 million, a one-month record for Ohio EPA’s loan programs.
Avon Lake will use a loan of $14,793,523 for the Fairfield-Brookfield combined sewer separation project. After separating sewers on four major streets, the city will be one step closer to fully implementing its CSO long-term control plan.
The city will use a second loan of $5 million to offer financial assistance to homeowners who disconnect their downspouts from the sanitary sewer lateral. The separation project will allow rainwater and snowmelt to discharge to the storm sewer, rather than inundate the sanitary sewer and increase the likelihood of CSOs.
The loans through Ohio’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) carry interest rates of 0.76 percent and 0 percent respectively, which will save the city $8,549,225 compared to market-rate loans.
Created in 1989, the WPCLF provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. WPCLF loans are used for many purposes such as improvements to publicly owned treatment works and home sewage treatment systems, water quality-based storm water projects, agricultural best management practices, and landfill closures.
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 help 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.