EPA Invites 39 Projects to Apply for WIFIA Loans
EPA announced this week that it is inviting 39 projects in 16 states and D.C. to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. Together, the selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling approximately $5 billion to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments. EPA received 62 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). After review, the WIFIA Selection Committee chose the following 39 prospective borrowers’ projects to submit applications for loans:
- City of Phoenix; Water Main Replacement Program; $49 million (Arizona)
- San Mateo-Foster City Public Financing Authority; San Mateo Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade and Expansion Project; $277 million (California)
- Coachella Valley Water District; Coachella Valley Stormwater Channel Improvement Project; $22 million (California)
- Poseidon Resources (Channelside) LP; Carlsbad Intake Project; $32 million (California)
- City of Stockton Public Financing Authority; Regional Wastewater Control Facility Modifications Project; $53 million (California)
- Silicon Valley Clean Water; SVCW RESCU; $181 million (California)
- City of Sunnyvale; Sunnyvale Cleanwater Program Phase 2; $166 million (California)
- San Juan Water District; Hinkle and Kokila Reservoir Rehabilitation and Replacement; $12 million (California)
- City of Los Angeles; Donald C. Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility; $185 million (California)
- Inland Empire Utilities Agency; RP-5 Expansion Project; $138 million (California)
- Sanitation District No. 2 of Los Angeles County; Joint Water Pollution Control Plant Effluent Outfall Tunnel; $426 million (California)
- City of Antioch; Brackish Water Desalination Project; $32 million (California)
- Coachella Valley Water District; North Indio Regional Flood Control Project; $29 million (California)
- District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority; Comprehensive Infrastructure Repair, Rehabilitation and Replacement Program; $144 million (District of Columbia)
- Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority; Florida Keys Imperiled Water Supply Rehabilitation; $45 million (Florida)
- North Miami Beach Water; NMB Water Regional Potable Water Improvements; $62 million (Florida)
- Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department; Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Electrical Distribution Building Upgrade; $343 million (Florida)
- Tohopekaliga Water Authority; Accelerated Gravity Sewer Assessment and Rehabilitation Project; $32 million (Florida)
- Pinellas County Utilities; Water Reclamation Facility Improvements; $13 million (Florida)
- DeKalb County Government; Priority Areas Sewer Assessment & Rehabilitation Program (PASARP) Consent Decree Packages; $251 million (Georgia)
- City of Atlanta; North Fork Peachtree Creek Tank and Pump Station; $55 million (Georgia)
- City of Wichita; Northwest Water Treatment Facility (NWWTF); $270 million (Kansas)
- City of Frontenac; Water Supply, Treatment, Distribution and Storage Improvements and Additions; $5 million (Kansas)
- Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District; Upper Middle Fork Pump Station (UMFPS); $44 million (Kentucky)
- Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District; Ohio River Flood Protection Pump Station Capacity Upgrade; $118 million (Kentucky)
- Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District; Morris Forman Biosolids Processing Solution; $88 million (Kentucky)
- American Water Capital Corporation; St. Louis Area Water Main Replacement and Lead Abatement Program; $84 million (Missouri)
- Kansas City Missouri Water Services Department; Blue River WWTP Biosolids Facility Project; $51 million (Missouri)
- American Water Capital Corp. (AWCC)-Joplin; Joplin Water Supply Reservoir – Joplin, Missouri; $103 million (Missouri)
- City of Cortland; City of Cortland Clinton Avenue Gateway Project; $9 million (New York)
- Monroe County; Frank E. Van Lare Secondary Treatment Upgrades; $15 million (New York)
- Brunswick County; Northwest Water Treatment Plant 36 MGD Improvements Project; $74 million; (North Carolina)
- Enid Municipal Authority; Enid KLWS Pipeline; $53 million (Oklahoma)
- City of Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District; Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP); $617 million (Oregon)
- City of Lancaster; Sewer System Improvements; $22 million (Pennsylvania)
- Narragansett Bay Commission; CSO Phase III Facilities; $251 million (Rhode Island)
- City of Memphis; T.E. Maxson Wastewater Treatment Facility Process and Biosolids Upgrades Program; $144 million (Tennessee)
- City of Seattle; Ship Canal Water Quality Project; $197 million (Washington)
- City of Waukesha Water Utility; Great Lakes Water Supply Project (Great Water Alliance [GWA] Program); $116 million (Wisconsin)
Of the selected projects, 12 projects will reduce lead or other drinking water contaminants and 37 will address aging infrastructure. 8 prospective borrowers submitted letters of interest in response to the 2017 Notice of Funding Availability, resubmitted them for 2018, and are now invited to proceed in the 2018 funding round. To learn more about the 39 projects that are invited to apply, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects.
ACWA Participates in Affordability Stakeholder Meeting
AWWA, NACWA and WEF hosted a meeting this week to discuss the issue of affordability of water service. In FY 2016 Congress directed EPA to contract with the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to conduct an independent study to create a definition of, and framework for, community affordability of clean water. The NAPA Report recommendations of this report approach the task in four specific ways: 1) Revising the 1997 guidance document titled Combined Sewer Overflows–Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development; 2) highlighting best practices for integrated planning, 3) identifying innovative solutions to further address affordability by lowering costs, and 4) discussing the best approaches to analyzing the costs and benefits.
AWWA, NACWA and WEF are working on a project to develop alternative affordability criteria to inform EPA’s revised framework. The groups are exploring options for developing metrics and measures to assess household affordability at a community level that does not rely solely on median household income (MHI) as the primary indicator and prepare a methodology to assess a water system’s financial capacity to support water infrastructure. Representatives from EPA, AWWA, WEF, NACWA, EDF, Clean Water Action, NRDC, NACo, USCM, NRWA, RCAP and US Water Alliance attended the meeting and participated in several breakout groups to discuss and further refine a set of draft criteria for EPA to consider as it responds to the NAPA Report. Several themes emerged from the discussions including the need for a framework that includes clear definitions of affordability and financial capability and how to measure them; the need for a straightforward, transparent and consistent application by water systems, EPA and state primacy agencies, while simultaneously preserving regulatory flexibility; the need for the framework to apply to all water systems, including drinking water, wastewater and stormwater; and the need for the framework to focus on both customer affordability as well as the financial capability of the water system providing the services and the community receiving the services. The partners anticipate completing this effort by the end of 2018.
EPA Proposes Updates to EPCRA to Exclude Animal Waste Reporting
This week EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a proposed rule to amend the emergency release notification regulations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), to make very clear that reporting of air emissions from animal waste at farms is not required. EPA has indicated the proposed rule would provide livestock producers with greater regulatory certainty and allow emergency response officials to focus on readiness and emergencies, not animal waste. EPA is seeking public comment over 30 days on the Agency’s interpretation that these types of releases are not subject to EPCRA reporting. Comments may be submitted to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0318. More information and a prepublication version of the rule can be found here.
EPA Announces National Estuary Program Coastal Watersheds Request for Application
EPA announced about $4 million in federal funding for the National Estuary Program (NEP) Coastal Watersheds Grant. The grant will go towards addressing urgent ecological issues in coastal and estuarine environments. Eligible applicants under this announcement include state, interstate, tribal, inter-tribal consortia, regional water pollution control agencies and entities, state coastal zone management agencies, and other public or nonprofit private agencies, institutions, and organizations. Applications are due December 20th, 2018. For more information, please see the NEP website.
Low Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2018
This week, legislation (S. 3564) was introduced by Senator Cardin (D-MD), Senator Wicker (R-MS), and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) to create a pilot low income assistance program for water ratepayers. The Low Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2018 takes inspiration from the energy sector ratepayer assistance bill similarly named “Low Income Household Energy Assistance Program”, and similarly creates a larger role for the federal government to help certain communities pay for unfunded mandates borne by utilities and then passed on to ratepayers. As a pilot program, the legislation proposed trying this framework out in 64 communities balanced by geographic location and size over five years, followed by a report to congress on outcomes at the end of the program. ACWA will be developing a more thorough summary of the legislation in the days to come, and monitoring the bill as it progresses in the coming months.
ACWA Comment Letter Flows Management
This week ACWA submitted a comment letter on Peak Flows Management in response to EPA’s request for public input. The August 31, 2018 Federal Register notices for this request can be found here. Comments were to be submitted via regulations.gov at for Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0420.
The letter notes that while states have historically expressed a diversity of opinions on this issue, more than half the states have indicated they could support EPA exploring a blending rule, depending on how blending was defined. States would like to see a brighter line drawn between allowable blending and an unallowable bypass. Some states that do not currently allow blending and would not support a rulemaking that does.
Beyond traditional considerations, many states view other factors as relevant to a blending analysis: size of the wet weather event; requirements that permit limits must be met; facility design for blending; limited use of blending as a temporary solution; and ensuring no new environmental issues arise because of blending. Many states also support consideration of increased monitoring, reporting, and notification requirements.
ACWA requests that EPA meet with states to share information and discuss options that might appear in a rulemaking. A copy of the letter and a summary of a survey state completed can be found here.
EPA “How’s My Waterway” App Rollout Call for States
Thursday, November 15
Contact Julian Gonzalez for more information
319/Nonpoint Source Workgroup Call
Thursday, November 29
Contact Julian Gonzalez for more information