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Southeast Ohio Communities Receive $12 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure
Communities in Southeast Ohio are receiving a total of $12.2 million in low-interest and principal forgiveness funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018.
The lower interest rates and forgiven principal will save these communities more than $9.3 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $188 million in loans during the fourth quarter of the year, including $10.4 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $37.1 million when compared to market-rate loans.
Ohio EPA provided approximately $795 million for public works projects throughout 2018. More than $47 million was awarded to southeast Ohio communities in 2018. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems.
For the fourth quarter 2018, the following Southeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Hocking County is receiving $6 million, including $3.5 million in principal forgiveness, to construct gravity sewer collection systems in the village of Murray City and the unincorporated areas of Carbon Hill, Longstreth and Candy Town. These systems will connect to the Nelsonville sewer system for treatment.
- Manchester is receiving $2.3 million, including $2.2 million in principal forgiveness, to replace short spans of broken pipe, line sanitary sewers and rehabilitate manholes and the North Lift Station. These projects will reduce excessive infiltration and inflow into the sanitary sewer system, reducing overflows and high flows to the wastewater treatment plant. The village also will be receiving $10,000 to create an asset management plan.
- New Boston is receiving $1.8 million in principal forgiveness to install separated storm sewers on Vine Street, Ohio Avenue, Gallia Street and West Avenue, and to install flow meters along the combined sewer overflows.
- Perry County is receiving more than $1 million, the majority in principal forgiveness, to construct a sanitary collection system that will transport wastewater to New Lexington for treatment and for an asset management plan for Northern Perry County Water.
- Waverly is receiving $300,000 for the design of new wells and the rehabilitation of existing wells to prevent the infiltration of surface water into the well system.
- Jewett is receiving $227,000 to replace aged and undersized waterlines, as well as replace valves, meters and fittings to serve residential customers.
- Logan is receiving $197,000, including $10,000 in principal forgiveness, to replace antiquated water distribution lines and to complete an asset management plan.
- Syracuse ($10,035), South Point ($10,035), Lowell ($17,636), New Straitsville ($10,035), New Philadelphia ($10,035), Bolivar ($20,170), Coal Grove ($10,035) and Tri-County Rural Water & Sewer District ($10,035) each are receiving interest-free loans to complete asset management plans for their drinking water systems. Additionally, $10,000 of each loan is principal forgiveness, meaning it does not have to be repaid.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to a market-rate loan.
Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage storm water, address combined sewer overflows and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design and construction activities and enhances 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’s SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are 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 SRF funds.
More information about the SRF loan program 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.