The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping finance water infrastructure projects in Maryland, California and Wisconsin with $688 million in low-interest loans, Administrator Michael Regan announced Jan. 19 at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting
Projects backed by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans will support more than 4,000 construction and operation jobs, he told attendees. and are the latest to be highlighted by the Biden administration as EPA and other federal agencies begin to roll out funds allocated through the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Projects in Baltimore will receive about $396 million in WIFIA loans. The city plans to put a $160.8-million loan toward $389 million in wastewater treatment facility improvements to expand capacity and reliability. Another $192.7-million loan will support a $410.6-million project to replace aging water mains, and the remaining $42.5 million will go toward a series of eight projects to increase the Baltimore City Dept. of Public Works’ stormwater treatment capacity, helping to address flooding and improve water quality.
Using WIFIA loans on the projects will save Baltimore about $100 million, according to EPA.