Web Content Viewer
Actions

Northeast Ohio Communities Receive $219.5 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA to Improve Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure

Communities in Northeast Ohio are receiving approximately $219.5 million in low-interest and principal forgiveness funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. Funding infrastructure projects and improving water quality across the state continues to be a priority of Governor Mike DeWine’s administration. These loans (financed though the state’s revolving fund) were approved between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2022. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $31.6 million.

“By investing in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, we are working toward a better quality of life for all Ohioans,” said Governor DeWine. “Water issues exist everywhere, and these infrastructure projects help ensure that these community-level, basic public services are safe and reliable for generations to come.”

Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $269.8 million in loans during the first quarter of 2022, including more than $6 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save approximately $43.8 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.

Ohio EPA financed approximately $797 million for public works projects in 2021, saving communities more than $166 million in interest when compared to market-rate loans.

For the first quarter of 2022, the following Northeast Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is receiving $201.5 million to construct three miles of combined sewer overflow storage tunnel, three tunnel shafts, near-surface sewers, and diversion and gate control structures.
  • Warren is receiving $4.8 million for four projects including designing improvements to pump stations and wastewater treatment plant; investigate, design, and bid assistance for sediment removal in sanitary sewer lines; design the reconfiguration of a junction between two main interceptors; and investigate four remaining combined sewer areas, a sewer modeling update, and flow monitoring.
  • Rocky River is receiving $1.9 million to design improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Summit County is receiving $1.3 million to design 39,500 linear feet of gravity sewer and two pump stations and force mains in the northern area surrounding State Route 93.
  • Munroe Falls is receiving $889,000 to rehabilitate and upgrade the existing booster station.
  • Jefferson is receiving $220,000 to clean and line sanitary sewers and rehabilitate lateral connections and manholes.
  • Smithville is receiving $194,000 to assess the entire collection system to develop a master plant to identify, prioritize, and develop the rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer system.
  • Spencer is receiving $103,000 to design wastewater treatment plant improvements.
  • Natural Areas Land Conservancy is receiving $1.3 million in two loans from the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP) for two projects to protect 76 acres of high-quality wetlands and upland forested buffer habitats in Geauga County and 55 acres, in perpetuity, of high-quality aquatic resources within the Upper Grand River watershed. Through the WRRSP, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its Shoreline Storage Tunnel project loan be used for the wetland restoration project.
  • Holden Arboretum is receiving $1.1 million from the WRRSP to acquire the Daly/Fallon property, which includes a high-quality fen. Through the WRRSP, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its Shoreline Storage Tunnel project loan be used for the wetland restoration project.
  • Western Reserve Land Conservancy is receiving $1 million from the WRRSP to protect 78 acres, including 35 acres of Category 3 wetlands,43 acres of upland forest, and 2,700 linear feet of Class A primary headwater habitat streams. Through the WRRSP, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its Shoreline Storage Tunnel project loan be used for the wetland restoration project.
  • Lorain County Metro Parks is receiving $277,440 from the WRRSP to acquire and restore 181 acres of the current Dorlon Golf Club. Through the WRRSP, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its Shoreline Storage Tunnel project loan be used for the wetland restoration project.
  • Portage Park District is receiving $1.7 million from the WRRSP to acquire and protect 114 acres, including 48 acres of Category 2 and 3 wetlands. Through the WRRSP, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its Shoreline Storage Tunnel project loan be used for the wetland restoration project.
  • Lake County is receiving $1.5 million from the WRRSP to remove Brightwood Dam on Kellogg Creek. Through the WRRSP, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its Shoreline Storage Tunnel project loan be used for the wetland restoration project.
  • Health Departments, Districts, and County Commissions in the following counties are receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of household sewage treatment systems: Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain, Portage, Stark, and Wayne counties.

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/divisions-and-offices/environmental-financial-assistance/financial-assistance/defa-financial-assistance.

 

-30-

www.epa.ohio.gov

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.