EPA Announces $218 Million Water Infrastructure Loan to Silicon Valley Clean Water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $218 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW) to finance wastewater infrastructure upgrades that will protect public health and the San Francisco Bay.
"This $218 million WIFIA loan will help the Bay Area upgrade its wastewater infrastructure and protect the health of the bay and local residents while at the same time creating well-paying jobs," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "Through WIFIA, EPA is playing a leading role in President Trump's efforts to upgrade our nation's infrastructure, create jobs, and safeguard public health and the environment. EPA has issued nine WIFIA loans under President Trump totaling over $2 billion in credit assistance to help finance over $5 billion for water infrastructure projects and create over 6,000 jobs."
During an event hosted by SVCW in Redwood City, California the Tunnel Boring Machine-an $18.2 million machine selected as an alternative to more disruptive construction options-was available for viewing. Its name, Salus, was revealed before beginning two years of work constructing a wastewater conveyance pipeline. The loan closing was announced at this event, with Warren Lieberman and Teresa Herrera of Silicon Valley Clean Water and Tomás Torres, Water Division Director for EPA's Pacific Southwest Region.
With EPA's WIFIA loan, SVCW's Regional Environmental Sewer Conveyance Upgrade (RESCU) Program will rehabilitate aging wastewater infrastructure and construct new facilities to improve the system's safety and reliability and protect the San Francisco Bay. The program will construct a 3.3-mile gravity pipeline, replace four pump stations, and build a new preliminary treatment facility. The program will also add capacity to manage stormwater. When completed, SVCW will be able to handle future wastewater wet weather flows of up to 108 million gallons per day.
"SVCW's mission to protect public health and the environment in a cost efficient, practical, and responsible manner is greatly facilitated by receiving a loan under the WIFIA loan program," said Teresa Herrera, Plant Manager of Silicon Valley Clean Water. "We are appreciative that the U.S. government supports critical wastewater infrastructure upgrades and understands the value of protecting our environment and supporting our local economy."
The RESCU Program will cost $495 million in capital dollars. The EPA's WIFIA loan is funding eligible project costs, plus capitalized interest, which combined is valued at $517 million. EPA's WIFIA loan will finance a significant amount-up to $218 million. The WIFIA loan will save SVCW an estimated $43 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create 400 jobs.
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 and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA's WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump's infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility.
To date EPA has issued nine loans totaling over $2 billion in WIFIA credit assistance to help finance over $5 billion for water infrastructure projects and create over 6,000 jobs. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications and projects that will lead to billions of dollars invested in additional construction and create thousands of jobs.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.