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Southwest Ohio Communities Receive $14.8 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements
Communities in Southwest Ohio are receiving more than $14.8 million in low-interest rate funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020.
The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $3.7 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $466 million in loans during the first half of 2020, including $25.5 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $90.9 million when compared to market-rate loans.
The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems. The loans include funds to 11 counties to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing home septic systems; these loans do not have to be repaid.
For the first half of 2020, the following Southwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Cincinnati is receiving three loans totaling $7.3 million to replace water mains at Elkton Place, Fairfax Avenue, and Kinney Road. The projects also include replacing more than 500 lead service lines.
- Montgomery County is receiving $4.9 million to design a sewer project to replace a force main and make improvements to the pump station in the western service region.
- Gratis is receiving $451,376 to replace a lift station and provide back-up power for the wastewater treatment plant on Brubaker Road. The loan includes $50,000 in principal forgiveness.
- West Liberty is receiving $218,606 for a waterline extension project on Bradley Street, Pickereltown Road, and Riverwood Court.
- Germantown is receiving $75,008 to design a project to replace the village water tower and improve the drinking water treatment system’s data collection and transmission systems.
- Health departments, districts, or county commissioners in the following counties are each receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of household sewage treatment systems: Brown, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Darke, Hamilton, Highland, Logan, Miami, and Warren.
- Preble County General Health District is receiving a $100,000 principal forgiveness loan for the repair and replacement of household sewage treatment systems.
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, non-community public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to market-rate loans.
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.