EPA seeks state infrastructure financing agencies’ letters of interest for up to $7.5 billion in water project credit assistance, including for MAR and desalination

September 27, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on September 25 it is seeking solicited letters of interest (LOIs) from prospective water systems and state infrastructure financing authority borrowers seeking credit assistance from the EPA under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and State Infrastructure Financing Authority Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (SWIFIA) programs.

The EPA estimates that it may lend approximately $6.5 billion to help finance approximately $13 billion in water system infrastructure investment and approximately $1 billion to help finance approximately $2 billion through state water infrastructure investment programs, including for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) and desalination projects. WIFIA and SWIFIA can support up to 49 percent of the financial assistance for eligible project costs of projects selected for this assistance.

For state infrastructure financing programs, this can significantly increase the financial assistance of states applying for this credit assistance. A WIFIA or SWIFIA project must have eligible project costs that are reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $20 million. A SWIFIA project can be comprised of several smaller projects. Under WIFIA, the EPA may offer small community (serving 25,000 or fewer persons) prospective borrowers credit assistance up to 80 percent of the eligible project costs.

The primary purpose of the LOI is to provide adequate information to EPA from state infrastructure financing agencies to validate the eligibility and creditworthiness of the prospective borrower and the prospective WIFIA or SWIFIA project and determine the extent to which the WIFIA or SWIFIA project meets the statutory selection criteria. Based on its review of the information provided in the LOI, the EPA will invite prospective borrowers to submit applications for their projects.

Click here for more information from the Federal Register.

MAR is one of four priority issues NGWA is focused on for the foreseeable future. Click here to learn more.