11/24/21
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Central Ohio Communities Receive $45.7 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements

$156 Million in Low-Interest Loans Awarded Statewide in the Third Quarter of 2021

Communities in Central Ohio are receiving more than $45.7 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 July 1 and Sept. 30, 2021. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $6.2 million.

Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $156 million in loans during the third quarter of 2021, including $12.6 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $34 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. This funding includes assistance to local health districts to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems.

For the third quarter of 2021, the following Central Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Columbus is receiving $40.3 million for six projects to include: constructing Green Infrastructure practices in the Beechwold area to help control stormwater and return it to the soil; constructing 2,300 feet of water mains, new fire hydrants, and valve installations in the East Franklinton area; constructing 10,000 feet of water mains, new fire hydrants, and valve installations in the Old Beechwold area; rehabilitating or installing new storm sewers and green infrastructure in East Franklinton; replacing a valve actuator system at the Jackson Pike Wastewater Treatment Plant; and rehabilitating concrete on existing sedimentation and softening basins, flocculation channels, and basin access walkways at the Hap Cremean Water Treatment Plant.
  • Newark is receiving $5.1 million to replace the wastewater treatment plant’s Ultraviolet Light Disinfection System with an updated energy efficient system.
  • Sunbury is receiving $325,000 for the planning and engineering design for a project to expand the wastewater treatment plant’s biosolids storage/drying beds, an additional canopy area for biosolids storage/drying beds, new sludge transfer pumps, and onsite generators for the sewage lift stations.

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 stormwater, 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 make restoration and protection possible for 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, 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.

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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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