EPA Water Infrastructure Finance and
Established by an act of Congress in 2014, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), is a new financing mechanism for water and wastewater infrastructure projects managed by EPA Headquarters. Modeled on the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, WIFIA will provide federal credit subsidies for a wide range of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects. According to projections from EPA, each dollar of federal WIFIA funding could be leveraged to support $65 in water infrastructure investment.
WIFIA will provide low interest rate financing for the construction of major water and wastewater infrastructure projects. In order to qualify, projects must be deemed creditworthy and be reasonably expected to cost at least $20 million (or $5 million in the case of projects serving communities of fewer than 25,000 people.) WIFIA will supplement, not replace, loan assistance loan assistance that is available through State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.
Eligible assistance recipients include corporations, partnerships, municipal entities, and SRF programs. Eligible projects include:
- Drinking Water SRF eligible projects;
- Bundled SRF projects submitted under one application by an SRF program; and
- A combination of projects secured by a common security pledge.
EPA is in the process of developing rules to govern WIFIA’s operations, and the agency is expected to begin soliciting and issuing WIFIA loans during the 2017 fiscal year. Congress has appropriated $20 million to EPA to fund WIFIA in 2017.
In the 2018 offering, EPA highlighted reducing exposure to lead as one of two finding priorities.