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Northeast Ohio Communities Receive $33.3 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 Northeast Ohio are receiving more than $33.3 million in low-interest rate 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 July 1 and Sept. 30, 2021. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $5.9 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 Northeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is receiving $17 million to demolish nine buildings that have been unused, abandoned, or recommended for decommissioning, as well as relocating, improving, and repurposing three other buildings at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Center.
- Alliance is receiving $8.5 million for the planning and engineering design for a project to expand the secondary treatment system and upgrade the disinfection facility and feed systems.
- Akron is receiving $1.7 million for two drinking water projects: evaluating the structural integrity and upgrade the West High pumping station; and updating the Watershed Master Plan to incorporate new census data and land use data, and update maps.
- Canfield is receiving $1.5 million to expand the gravity sewer to South Palmyra Road.
- Cleveland is receiving $1 million to replace lead service lines at state registered childcare facilities in the service area. The $1 million is financed entirely in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Streetsboro is receiving $791,415 to design the replacement of priority watermain locations across the city.
- New Waterford is receiving $678,786 to replace deteriorating waterlines, valves, and hydrants. This loan includes $309,988 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Rocky River is receiving $384,310 to develop a preliminary engineering report and alternative analysis for improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
- East Liverpool is receiving $332,424 to purchase four lift station generators. This loan includes $50,000 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Rittman is receiving $303,635 for the planning and engineering design for a project to replace the existing aging water transmission main.
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History is receiving $295,642 for two projects to include: acquiring and protecting 78 acres, including 69 acres of wetlands and 1,700 linear feet of Pymatuning Creek; and acquiring and protecting 30 acres downstream from the existing Floyd Preserve on Bear Creek.
- ABC Water and Stormwater District is receiving $241,900 to plan the development of phases two, three, and four of the Cranberry Run stormwater management project. This includes model development, calibration, alternative analysis, and a summary report.
- Marshallville is receiving $176,248 for the planning and engineering design for a project to construct a new water treatment plant and drill a new well.
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 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.
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.