Loan will help make a critical investment to improve water quality for 315,000 people
SEATTLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is inviting the City of Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District to apply for a $617 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to build the Willamette Water Supply Program.
“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing an integral role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure and ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe water,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This year, EPA will help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments that will create up to 155,000 jobs, upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce lead exposure, and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country.”
After a robust, statutorily required review process, the City of Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District’s Willamette Water Supply Program was selected as one of 39 projects nationwide, from a group of 62 prospective borrowers, representing large and small communities, who submitted letters of interest to EPA in response to the 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Together, the selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling up to $5 billion to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments and create up to 155,000 jobs.
“The city and water district have formed an important partnership to secure a safe, long-term drinking water supply and protect the health and well-being of their residents,” said EPA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Chris Hladick. “This partnership and forward-thinking planning will not only protect local drinking water resources, it will make Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley more resilient to future droughts.”
The Willamette Water Supply Program is intended to provide the City of Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District additional resilient water supply capacity. Phase 1 will provide 60 million gallons per day of drinking water to the city and water district. The project includes upgrades to the existing intake; 6 miles of raw water pipeline; a new 60 million gallons per day water treatment facility; 25 miles of finished water pipeline; and 30 million gallons of storage. The project aims to provide reliable water treatment and supply to meet the existing and future needs of the greater Portland metropolitan area. The project will be seismically resilient and use state-of-the-art treatment processes to address the region’s water quality threats.
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 loans will allow large and small communities across the country to implement projects to address two national water priorities – providing for clean and safe drinking water including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants and addressing aging water infrastructure.
To date, EPA has issued four loans totaling over $1 billion in WIFIA credit assistance. Combined, these four projects will create over 5,000 jobs.
According to EPA's estimate of national drinking water and wastewater needs, over $743 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements. EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in fulfilling this need and in the President’s Infrastructure Plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility.
To learn more about the 39 projects that are invited to apply and about EPA’s WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects.
EPA’s 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) can be viewed at: 2018 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).