EPA announces $108M to improve water quality in the California Delta

Oct. 12, 2020
Nationally, EPA’s 32 WIFIA loans are helping finance more than $13 billion in water infrastructure projects.

STOCKTON, CA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $108 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Stockton Public Financing Authority to help modernize the city’s wastewater treatment facility and reduce nitrogen discharges to the San Joaquin River. With this loan, EPA is supporting a regionally significant project that will improve water quality and support public health and the economies of the California Delta.

“With the support of the WIFIA program, the City of Stockton will be able to upgrade the wastewater plant’s aging infrastructure,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “These upgrades will not only improve working conditions for employees but also serve to protect the water quality in the California Delta.”

“Since the first WIFIA loan closed in April 2018, the program has become increasingly efficient and has established itself as a valuable tool to help finance needed water infrastructure improvements across the country,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “EPA’s 32 WIFIA loans are providing $6 billion in credit assistance to help finance $13 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 28,000 jobs and saving ratepayers $3.6 billion.”

The Stockton Regional Wastewater Control Facility has a 55 million gallon per day treatment capacity and is located on nearly 700 acres adjacent to the San Joaquin River. EPA’s WIFIA loan will fund work to rehabilitate the system’s aging infrastructure and technology and reduce the amount of nitrogen compounds discharged to the San Joaquin River and ultimately the California Delta. Upgrades to the system, including the construction of new aeration basins and associated secondary clarifiers, will support compliance with stricter regulatory limits for nitrogen compounds and improve water quality in the city’s surface water supply.

“In conjunction with the Delta Water Treatment Plant that opened in 2012, the modifications and upgrades to the Regional Wastewater Control Facility will complete the City of Stockton’s commitment to sustainable and responsible use of water,” said Dan Wright, City of Stockton Vice Mayor and Council Water Committee chair. “The WIFIA Loan will save Stockton tens of millions of dollars in interest payments when compared to typical bond financing.”

“The WIFIA program accelerates investment in infrastructure of regional significance, supporting thoughtful urban planning and sustainable growth that reaffirms the City of Stockton’s commitment to become the best city in America to live, raise a family, and grow a business,” said Harry Black, City Manager.

WIFIA is providing financial support at a critical time as the federal government, EPA, and the water sector work together to help mitigate the public health and financial impacts of COVID-19. EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of the total Regional Wastewater Control Facility Modifications project cost of $219 million. The remaining project costs will be funded by a combination of revenue bonds, system funds and a California Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan. EPA estimates that the WIFIA loan will save the city of Stockton an estimated $67 million compared to typical market financing and that construction and operation are expected to create approximately 700 jobs. Since the beginning of March 2020, WIFIA has announced sixteen loans and updated four existing loans with lower interest rates. These recent efforts by EPA’s WIFIA program will save ratepayers over $1 billion compared to typical market financing.

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