Loans will help make critical investments in communities to improve water quality for 22 million Americans
DALLAS – (Nov. 1, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting the Enid, Okla., Municipal Authority to apply for a $53 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to fund the Kaw Lake Alternative Water Supply Project.
“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 Enid Municipal Authority 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.
“Improving water infrastructure means improving the quality of life and public health for an entire community,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “Funding for the Kaw Lake project will benefit the people of Enid by increasing water security and adding jobs to the economy.”
The Kaw Lake project has four infrastructure construction components: a micro-tunnel intake to withdraw water from Kaw Lake, a 70-mile pipeline to convey unprocessed water, a new water treatment plant with a 10.5 million gallons-per-day capacity, and improvements to the distribution system.
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.
For more about EPA’s work in Oklahoma: https://www.epa.gov/ok
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