9/17/21
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Anthony Chenault

Southwest Ohio Communities Receive $5.5 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements

 $97.8 Million in Low-Interest Loans Awarded Statewide in the Second Quarter of 2021

Communities in Southwest Ohio are receiving more than $5.5 million in low-interest rate interest rate 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, 2021. Lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $1.4 million. 

Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $97.8 million in loans during the second quarter of 2021, including $17 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save almost $31 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 second quarter of 2021, the following Southwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Dayton is receiving a $4.53 million loan for a project that includes covering the wastewater treatment plant’s clarifier launder channels with fiberglass.
  • Greene County is receiving two loans totaling $257,680 for improvements to the county’s drinking water system. One project includes 10,400 feet of 16-inch wastewater discharge pipe from the reverse osmosis membranes at the water treatment plant to the Beavercreek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The other project includes about 9,100 feet of 12-inch watermain to interconnect two water supplies for increased system redundancy and address distribution system looping and gaps in transmission lines.
  • Highland County is receiving a $10,000 loan to plan the rehabilitation of the Rolling Acres sewage collection system to prevent overflows caused by stormwater infiltration.
  • Brown County Health Department, Butler County, Cincinnati Health Department, and Highland County General Health District are each receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans to repair and replace household sewage treatment systems. Preble County General Health District is receiving a $100,000 principal forgiveness loan to assist residents with failing household sewage treatment systems.

 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 market-rate loans.  

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 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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