Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $436M Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan – the largest initial disbursement under WIFIA to date – to the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA). EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the loan closing along with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and IFA Chief Operating Officer Jim McGoff at an event hosted by the Indiana governor’s office in Indianapolis.
“By using its State Revolving Fund assets to leverage a WIFIA loan, Indiana’s innovative financing approach will allow it to lend nearly $900M to 23 projects across the state, including 10 in rural communities. These projects will improve water quality and protect the health of millions of Hoosiers while also creating well-paying jobs,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “With this loan closing, EPA has now issued 13 WIFIA loans totaling over $3.5B in credit assistance to help finance over $8B for water infrastructure projects and create over 15,000 jobs. Through WIFIA, EPA is playing a leading role in President Trump’s efforts to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, protect public health, and create jobs.”Today’s event included a tour of the DigIndy Tunnel System, a 28-mile long network of 18-foot diameter deep rock tunnels being built in part with funding from the WIFIA program. This project, along with others in Indianapolis, will reduce combined sewer overflows into area waterways by up to 97%.
“When we say infrastructure, we often think of our roads, but Indiana has more than 46,000 miles of water infrastructure,” said Eric Holcomb, Governor of Indiana. “Delivering clean water and protecting public health are top priorities, and I am grateful that our partnership with the EPA will help empower communities across Indiana to take our water systems to the Next Level.”
"In Indiana, we aren’t afraid to make history. We are honored to be the first state to receive WIFIA financing directly to our State Revolving Fund program," said Jim McGoff, Chief Operating Officer for IFA.
“As a life-long conservationist, this WIFIA loan from President Trump’s EPA will improve water quality for millions of Hoosiers across the state,” said U.S. Senator Mike Braun. “Hoosiers should be proud that President Trump’s EPA is restoring regulatory certainty, while creating good-paying jobs and, most importantly, securing access to clean, drinkable water for generations to come.”
“I am pleased to see that Indiana is receiving a $436M WIFIA loan to help with critical water infrastructure needs. This investment will help Hoosiers across the state, including those in rural communities, receive important funding to strengthen and improve their water infrastructure,” said Dr. Larry Bucshon (Congressman, IN-08). “As a physician, I understand the importance clean and reliable water infrastructure plays in the health of our citizens and the vitality of our agriculture.”
With EPA’s WIFIA loan, IFA will be able to lend to an additional 23 drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects, including 10 projects located in rural communities, delivering clean water and protecting public health across the state of Indiana. Drinking water projects will include efforts to improve water treatment plants, storage tanks, distribution system components, wells and pump stations as well as to construct resiliency features and implement water conservation measures. Wastewater projects will include efforts to improve and increase capacity of treatment plants and construction of tunnels to capture combined sewer overflows. As a result, Indiana residents will benefit from improved drinking water and having fewer pollutants entering their waterways.
Combining state resources, annual federal capitalization grant dollars and its WIFIA loan, Indiana’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) will be able to lend nearly $900M to support water infrastructure projects throughout the state. EPA’s WIFIA program will finance nearly half of that figure – up to $436M. The WIFIA loan will save IFA an estimated $20M compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create 3,034 jobs. This loan marks the first time EPA has provided WIFIA financing directly to a SRF program.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term and 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. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.
SOURCE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)