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

Southeast Ohio Communities Receive $16.2 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 Southeast Ohio are receiving more than $16.2 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 $8.4 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 Southeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Bellaire is receiving $4.9 million to install a duplex air stripping system for the Ranney collector well and make improvements to the water treatment plant and distribution system, including partial meter replacement and lead service line removal. The drinking water loan includes $2.5 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
  • Middleport is receiving $2.6 million to replace water mains and services and make improvements to three wells. The drinking water loan includes $1.8 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
  • Noble County Water Authority is receiving $2.4 million to construct an interconnection to the Byesville water system and extend water services to approximately 100 rural customers who rely on private wells.
  • Laurelville is receiving $1.3 million to install an ammonia treatment reactor and blower, complete electrical work, remove lagoon sludge and liner, and install an ultraviolet disinfections system at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Coalton is receiving $1.2 million to replace the septic tank effluent gravity collection system that will eliminate sewer overflows in the project area. The wastewater loan includes $1.2 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this loan does not have to be repaid.
  • South Point is receiving $1.2 million to replace waterlines in the Solida Road area from the railroad tracks to the village offices, Ninth Street from Solida Road to Park Avenue, and Park Avenue from Ninth Street to Seventh Street.
  • Pomeroy is receiving $919,781 to replace water meters, lead service lines, pneumatic tanks, and repair and repaint the water tower. The drinking water loan includes $504,175 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
  • Perry County is receiving $567,896 to construct 30,200 linear feet of four new waterlines, five hydrants, and valves to isolate these lines.
  • Caldwell is receiving $474,387 for the planning and engineering design for a project to install new sanitary sewers and storm sewers, which will reduce wet weather flows in the system.
  • Bowerston is receiving $405,500 for the planning and engineering design for a project to upgrade the collection system including improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is receiving two $50,000 loans to purchase backup generators for the Tappan Lake Marina and Tappan Lake East Campground. Both of these loans are 100 percent principal forgiveness, meaning the amount 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 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.

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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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