On Oct. 4, 2019, the federal Water Infrastructure Funding Transfer Act (WIFTA) was passed into law. Under WIFTA, Ohio EPA was able to transfer up to five percent of the cumulative capitalization grants from its Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF), to its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) to be used as principal forgiveness for projects that address exposure to lead in drinking water. Principal forgiveness loans do not need to be repaid.
In early 2020, Ohio EPA requested that public water systems submit nominations for lead service line (LSL) replacement projects. The nominations received are listed in the program year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020) DWAF Program Management Plan. Ohio EPA requested, and received U.S. EPA approval, to transfer $20 million from the WPCLF to the DWAF. The general parameters of the transferred funds are as follows:
- funds will be available for award during program years 2021 and 2022;
- nominations will remain open through program year 2022; and
- funds will be awarded at 100 percent principal forgiveness up to $1 million per applicant per year.
Additional funds could be awarded beyond the $1 million cap as zero percent loan funds.
Ohio EPA expects that this funding will make an impact on a large public health issue facing communities across the state. Public and private lead service lines will be removed, eliminating a potential exposure pathway for lead in drinking water.
For more information, go to our new fact sheet Drinking Water Assistance Fund: Lead Service Line Replacement Funding. please contact Debbie Nicholas at email@example.com.