10/22/18
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Anthony Chenault
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Northeast Ohio Communities Receive $97 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure

Communities in Northeast Ohio are receiving $97 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 July 1 and Sept. 30, 2018.

The lower interest rates and forgiven principal will save these communities more than $14.7 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $174 million in loans during the third quarter of the year, including $6.6 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $34.3 million when compared to market-rate loans.

The following Northeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is receiving $55.8 million to construct relief sewers in the London Road and Doan Valley areas to help address combined sewer overflows (CSO).
  • East Palestine is receiving $550,000 to construct an equalization basin, an additional interceptor and make improvements to the wastewater plant collection system.
  • Youngstown is receiving $19 million to make improvements to the effluent pumping and microscreen systems at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Eastlake is receiving more than $4 million to replace existing 18-inch sanitary sewer line with 36-inch sewer line from Quentin Road Pump Station south along Waverly Road to its intersection with Willowick Drive.
  • Avon Lake is receiving $1.9 million to rehabilitate close to 1,900 feet of old sanity sewer lines and replace a water line.
  • Trumbull County is receiving $268,000 to make improvements to the South Bedford Road Sanitary Sewer.
  • Burton is receiving $13 million to expand the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Akron is receiving $511,000 for two projects. One is for upgrades at the Eastwood Pumping Station and the other is a study to evaluate problems in the Hawkins, Hackberry and Grand Park service areas.
  • Sheffield Lake is receiving $1 million to replace eight submersible pumps, flow meters and transfer switches.
  • Alliance is receiving more than $1 million to add a powdered activated carbon feed system at the water treatment plant.
  • Beach City ($17,000), Malvern ($20,000), Grafton ($49,000), Windham ($25,000) and Salem ($20,000) each are receiving interest-free loans to complete asset management plans for their drinking water systems. Additionally, $10,000 of each loan is principal forgiveness, meaning it does not have to be repaid.

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.

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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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