Third Round of WIFIA Funding Request Completely Oversubscribed Again.
EPA receives 51 requests asking for more than $6 billion of water infrastructure capital support in 3ed round of WIFIA funding.
In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) third Notice of Funding Availability, the agency received 51 letters of interest, collectively requesting $6.6 billion in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding. This exceeds the $6 billion that EPA is offering, demonstrating the critical need for investment in our nation’s water infrastructure and strong interest in the WIFIA program.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump’s infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility.
“Since the WIFIA program’s inception in 2017, EPA has received requests totaling $21.7 billion for water infrastructure projects across the country – evidence of the urgent need to modernize our nation’s infrastructure,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Through WIFIA, EPA is playing a critical role in President Trump’s efforts to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure in a manner that improves public health and environmental protections while creating good, local jobs. In 2019 alone, WIFIA could support the creation of up to 180,000 jobs and improve water quality for millions of Americans.”
Following a landmark 2018 program year, in which EPA received 62 letters of interest and invited 39 projects to apply for WIFIA loans, the agency received 51 new letters of interest for 2019. EPA is offering $6 billion in loans that would help fund approximately $12 billion in water infrastructure projects. The agency received letters from prospective borrowers located in 21 states, including 6 states for which no borrower had previously sought WIFIA loans. This brings the total number of states where WIFIA loans have been requested to 35, plus the District of Columbia and Guam.
For the first time, EPA announced water reuse and recycling as a WIFIA priority and several prospective borrowers submitted letters of interest to implement such projects. The funding requests also cover a wide variety of other topics, including wastewater, drinking water, desalination, stormwater management and combined approaches. The majority of prospective borrowers are municipal government agencies, while other prospective borrowers include small communities, public-private partnerships and corporations. As the next step in this competitive process, EPA will evaluate the letters for project eligibility, credit worthiness, engineering feasibility and alignment with WIFIA’s statutory and regulatory criteria. The agency will then identify projects it intends to finance and invite those selected entities to submit formal applications this fall. See the full list of letters of interest submitted.
To date EPA has issued nine loans totaling over $2 billion in WIFIA credit assistance to help finance over $5 billion for water infrastructure projects and create over 6,000 jobs. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications and projects that will lead to billions of dollars invested in additional construction and create thousands of jobs. To learn more the 2019 WIFIA letters of interest submitted, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-letters-interest.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.