WIFIA Selects King County as One of 12 Projects to Apply for Federal Loan

Established in 2014, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) is a federal loan and guarantee EPA program that assists with investing in water infrastructure through long-term, low-cost credit assistance for regional and national projects.

On December 10, 2016, President Obama signed the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act and Congress provided $17 million in budget authority for the WIFIA program. Earlier this year, WIFIA released its 2017 notice of funding availability. The EPA received nearly 50 letters of interest from public and private entities around the country. After a lengthy review process, WIFIA chose 12 prospective borrowers from around the country, which they announced today:

In total, WIFIA plans to finance $5.1 billion in water infrastructure projects across the country, from wastewater to drinking water to water recycling programs. 

One of the selected projects is King County’s Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station in Washington. This project, which serves 1.9 million people, is part of King County’s larger Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Plan Amendment to reduce combined sewer overflows into local water bodies and protect public health and the environment.

If granted, a WIFIA loan will assist King County with constructing a new wet weather treatment station, conveyance pipelines, and outfall structure to treat combined sewer overflows prior to discharge into the Lower Duwamish Waterway. This facility will greatly reduce untreated wastewater and stormwater from entering the Duwamish.

Mike Ollivant, former PNCWA President and current Government Affairs Committee (GAC) member, says he is proud of PNCWA's GAC for contributing to pushing D.C. representative to value clean water. "One of our many points articulated to Congress has been continued funding of clean water projects and specifically the creation of the pilot Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). WIFIA was created to fund larger more expensive projects which leaves more funding (such as SRF) for other projects. ... It seems appropriate that we take just a moment to celebrate and acknowledge just one of many contribution by the Association and its many members." 

Interested to hear more about WIFIA or submit a project for next year? PNCWA members are in luck: Jorianne Jernberg, director of WIFIA, will be presenting about the program at the annual PCNWA Conference this October (the full conference agenda is available here).

Jernberg’s session will update audience members on WIFIA's background as well as recent developments, including discussing this year's selected projects and offering tips for submission to the next notice of available funding. Register for #PNCWA2017 here—maybe your project will be chosen next year!

Share this post: