Funding Incentives to Address Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Ohio EPA is making funds available to enhance drinking water testing and treatment, as well as reduce nutrient levels in wastewater treatment plant discharges. 

Lake Erie is one of Ohio’s crown jewels in terms of economic impact, natural resource value and water supply. Lake Erie is a source of drinking water for 23 Ohio public water systems serving approximately 2.6 million customers. Unfortunately, recreational and drinking water uses have been impaired by harmful algal blooms (HABs) in recent years. Ohio EPA is making funds available to enhance drinking water treatment, as well as reduce nutrient levels in wastewater treatment plant discharges.

    Funding Opportunity for Public Water Systems Infrastructure Improvements for HAB

    Community water systems, publicly or privately owned, that operate surface water treatment systems are eligible for the HAB-discounted interest rate under the Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA) program. Eligible projects include treatment system components for HAB treatment, interconnections with other public water systems, elevated storage and development of improved source waters. Nominations for design, and/or construction projects that are directly related to addressing issues from harmful algal blooms (HAB) do not have a deadline and can be submitted to Ohio EPA at any time during the program year. 

    For more information, please review the instructions for completing the WSRLA HAB nomination form, available on the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance webpage.

    Funding Opportunity for Wastewater Treatment Plant Infrastructure Improvements for Nutrients

    In response to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their potential effect on water resources and the raw water supply for drinking water systems, Ohio EPA made $100 million available at a 0% interest rate through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for equipment to reduce phosphorus and other nutrients. In 2018, Ohio EPA is offering $50 million at a 0% interest rate for these types of projects. The discounted rate will be available for the portion of the project directly attributed to the nutrient reduction. Standard, below-market interest rate loan funds will be offered for the balance of a proposed project. Ohio EPA will accept nutrient reduction discount (NRD) project nominations for planning, design or construction projects throughout the program year. Applicants who nominated projects for NRD funding in 2017, but did not proceed with projects, and subsequently provided updated schedules during the nomination period to Ohio EPA, will be grandfathered into the 2018 program.

    For more information, please review the nutrient reduction guidance and addendum, available on the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance webpage.

    Ohio EPA Introduces New Harmful Algal Bloom Advisory System
    A new multi-tiered advisory system to notify the public if microcystin, and other compounds produced by blue-green algae, is detected in treated drinking water at local public water systems throughout the state.


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