EPA Receives Number of Record WIFIA Requests

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received 62 letters of interest (LOIs) collectively requesting $9.1 billion in loans from a wide range of prospective borrowers in response to the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program’s 2018 Notice of Funding Availability.   EPA received LOIs from prospective borrowers located in 24 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam for a wide variety of projects, including wastewater, drinking water, water recycling, desalination, stormwater management, and combined approaches. More than half of the LOIs addressed one or both of EPA’s 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) priorities: reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants in drinking water systems and updating aging infrastructure. Specific drinking water related projects cover new sources (including desalination and water reuse), replacement of aging infrastructure (including lead service lines), and improvements to treatment plants and distribution systems. While the majority of prospective borrowers are municipal government agencies, other prospective borrowers include small communities, public-private partnerships, corporations, and a tribe.   See the full list of letters of interest submitted.

Changes could be coming to WIFIA if some Senators get their way.  The Senate version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that cleared the Environment and Public Works Committee would reauthorize WIFIA with additional money to be used by states to fund the SRFs.   This provision is not in the House version of WRDA that passed in June.  If the WIFIA changes survive in the final Senate version of WRDA, the differences with the House would need to be resolved in a conference committee.  ASDWA will continue to track the possible WIFIA changes to keep states informed.