Wastewater infrastructure financing applications due Jan. 31; $500 million available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 6, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135
Dan Beauchamp, CSO/SSO Program Specialist, BeauchampD@Michigan.gov, 586-208-5107

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) reminds municipalities that financing may be available for wastewater infrastructure projects planned for 2022, but the deadline to let EGLE know of a desire to apply is fast approaching.

Up to $500 million is available through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) for projects that may be part of asset management plans, capital improvement plans or schedules contained in permits and/or consent orders. To date, EGLE has received intent to apply forms requesting slightly more than $200 million. The deadline to submit an intent to apply form to EGLE is Jan. 31, 2021.

The CWSRF helps Michigan communities afford wastewater treatment and collection system improvements, storm water treatment projects and nonpoint source pollution control projects. The low-interest loans are available to eligible municipalities and help lessen rate impacts on customers over the life of the loan. Communities that experience combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflows could see impacts on residents such as basement sewage back-ups and limited freshwater recreation opportunities.

CWSRF loans have been awarded to more than 600 communities in 61 of Michigan’s 83 counties. The amount financed through the program since 1989 exceeds $5 billion.

Financing projects through the CWSRF program has several advantages:

  • Interest rates that are set below the market rate each year (e.g., 1.875 percent for 20-year loans and 2.125 percent for 30-year loans in fiscal year 2021).
  • Long repayment period of up to 30 years.
  • Disadvantaged communities may be eligible for loan principal forgiveness.
  • Elements of projects implementing qualifying energy efficiency improvements, water efficiency improvements, green infrastructure or environmentally innovative approaches may be eligible for loan principal forgiveness under the Green Project Reserve program.

Michigan has an $800 million annual gap in water and sewer funding infrastructure needs, according to the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission Report. Wastewater must be treated before it’s discharged to a nearby water source. Discharged water must meet strict state and federal standards to be considered safe for public exposure. Better handling and treatment of wastewater has a direct effect on public health, including cleaner beaches, healthier drinking water and fewer harmful algal blooms. Reducing pollution also benefits critical habitat for birds, animals and aquatic species.

For more information, contact EGLE’s Water Infrastructure Financing Section at 517-284-5433 or go to Michigan.gov/CWSRF for details and an intent to apply form.

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