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Source: US Environment Protection Agency

News Releases from HeadquartersWater (OW)

Nationally, 36 WIFIA loans are helping finance more than $15.2 billion in water infrastructure projects

10/26/2020

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ATLANTA (October 26, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a $61.9 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Atlanta to help finance the construction of the North Fork Peachtree Creek Tank and Pump Station. This WIFIA loan represents the first loan provided under a master agreement with the city that will commit $216.8 million in WIFIA assistance over the next five years to help improve wastewater and stormwater management and benefit public health, water quality, and the environment.

“WIFIA is playing a critical role in President Trump’s commitment to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, improve public health and the environment, and create good-paying, local jobs,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This project will reduce the volume of sewer overflows along the entire length of the Peachtree Creek sewer system and is only the first part of an agreement with Atlanta that will commit well over $200 million in WIFIA assistance over the next five years.”

EPA’s WIFIA loan will help finance the construction of the North Fork Peachtree Creek Tank and Pump Station, an off-line temporary 15-million-gallon capacity storage tank for peak wet weather sewage flow. During significant wet weather events, peak flow will be diverted from the North Fork trunk sewer to the off-line storage tank. This project will significantly reduce the number and volume of sewer overflows along the entire length of the Peachtree Creek trunk sewer system, including eliminating sewer overflows during very large storms and smaller back-to-back storm events. By increasing sewer storage capacity and reducing sewer overflows, the project will protect public health and improve water quality in Peachtree Creek. 

“EPA is proud to support the Atlanta’s efforts to modernize and upgrade their wastewater infrastructure,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “Through WIFIA, EPA is investing in crucially important local projects, which will result in a cleaner environment, improved public health, new jobs and a stronger economy.”  

“The City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management is extremely grateful to have been awarded a WIFIA loan to fund the very vital North Fork Storage Tank and Pump Station project,” said Commissioner for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management Mikita Browning. “The capacity relief project will alleviate sewer overflows, add needed system capacity, and aid in continued compliance with our consent decrees.”

WIFIA is providing financial support at a critical time as the federal government, EPA, and the water sector work together to help mitigate the public health and financial impacts of COVID-19. This project phase will cost $126.4 million and EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of that figure. The remaining project funds will come from the City of Atlanta. The WIFIA loan will save the City of Atlanta an estimated $25.2 million, while project construction and operation are expected to create 400 jobs. Since March 2020, WIFIA has announced twenty loans and updated five existing loans with lower interest rates, saving ratepayers over $1.3 billion.

Background on WIFIA

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, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. 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’s accomplishments through 2019, visit: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-first-wifia-annual-report-highlighting-35-billion-infrastructure-funding.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

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