SEATTLE, OCT 23, 2017 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is awarding $14.6 million to Idaho's clean water and drinking water revolving funds. The money will be used to finance water quality protection and drinking water projects that will last far into the future.
"Investments in water infrastructure are part of our back-to-basics agenda," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "We will work with Idaho and our other state partners to continue to provide clean, safe water."
The $14.6 million iwill be used across Idaho for water quality projects that will reduce water pollution, improve municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, make projects more sustainable by increasing water and energy efficiency, and provide technical assistance to communities.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, administered by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, was awarded $6.4 million. The program provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from rain water runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.
Since 1987, Idaho has received more than $200 million in annual CWSRF capitalization grants. Combined with state match and repayments, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has provided more than $552 million in low-interest CWSRF loans for water quality and wastewater projects.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, also administered by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, was awarded $8.2 million. The program provides low-interest loans (in 2017 the average interest rate across the state was 1.3 percent) to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities.
Since the program's program inception in 1997, the state of Idaho has received $196 million in annual DWSRF capitalization grants. Those funds, along with state match and repayments, have allowed Idaho to provide more than $230 million in DWSRF loans.
DWSRF projects in Idaho that have received funding from previous capitalization grants include a new water reservoir for the City of Blackfoot, water main replacement in American Falls, installation of water meters in Kimberly, and a microfiltration facility for Central Shoshone County Water District.
"We really appreciate having these sources of funding every year," said Tim Wendland, Idaho DEQ Loans and Grants Manager. "This is much-needed funding that supports public health and water quality projects throughout the state."
In addition to providing grant funds through the SRFs and other programs, EPA technical experts and managers provide their expertise to local, state, and tribal grant recipients on strategy development, research, technical needs, and compliance and enforcement.