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Central Ohio Communities Receive $60 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure
Communities in Central Ohio are receiving approximately $60 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 April 1 and June 30, 2018.
The lower interest rates and forgiven principal will save these communities more than $9.9 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $374 million in loans during the second quarter of the year, including more than $22 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $83.6 million compared to market-rate loans.
The following Central Ohio projects are receiving funding.
- Pickaway, Franklin, Madison and Fairfield counties are receiving $684,500 in principal forgiveness funding to help replace failing home sewage treatment systems.
- Columbus is receiving approximately $47.3 million in loans to make improvements to water main lines, upgrading storm sewer piping, modify a detention basin and increase stand-by power capacity. In addition, the city will be installing UV disinfection treatment technology to its drinking water treatment plant.
- The Newark wastewater treatment plant is receiving $11.6 million for repairs and upgrades to its anaerobic digestion process.
- London is receiving $274,000 to design improvements at its wastewater treatment plant to address nutrients.
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.