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MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle
Erie County Receives Funding from Ohio EPA for Home Septic Systems
Homeowners in Erie County can repair or replace septic systems with funding from Ohio EPA. Ohio EPA awarded a $70,000 loan to the county as part of the Ohio Department of Health’s Home Sewage Treatment Systems (HSTS) Repair/Replacement project for 2015.
This state initiative will improve the quality of life for low-income residents by repairing or replacing failing home sewage treatment systems at an affordable cost. In addition to addressing potential health concerns, local water quality will benefit from the improvements. Further, by targeting failing home sewage systems in the western Lake Erie basin, nutrient and bacteria runoff into the lake should be reduced.
The principal on the loan To the Erie County Health Department is forgiven; no principal or interest must be repaid to the state. Eligible Erie County homeowners will receive either 100 percent, 85 percent or 50 percent principal forgiveness toward the cost of repairing or replacing failing home septic systems.
The percentage of principal forgiveness assistance is dependent on the number of people living in the household and whether the household’s income is at or below federal poverty guidelines, or up to 300 percent of the guidelines. Like a grant, funds homeowners receive do not have to be repaid. Any portion of the repair or replacement cost not funded with the state loan will be the homeowner’s responsibility.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. The reduced interest rate and principal forgiveness will save Erie County an estimated $98,000 compared to a conventional, market-rate loan.
Besides improvements to publicly owned treatment works, WPCLF loans have been provided for agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements, landfill closures and water quality-based storm water projects. The WPCLF provides technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing 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 EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The loan program is 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 fund.
More information about the WPCLF 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.