Issued: Oct 26, 2021 (5:00pm EDT)

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EPA Announces $224 Million Water Infrastructure Loan for Climate Resilience in Los Angeles
Nationally, 60 WIFIA loans are financing over $25 billion in water infrastructure upgrades, creating 71,000 jobs
WASHINGTON (Oct. 26, 2021)— Today, at a virtual event with Mayor Eric Garcetti, California Water Resources Control Board Chair Joaquin Esquivel, and other officials, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox announced a $224 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. EPA’s WIFIA loan will help finance a project to purify wastewater and replenish the San Fernando Basin to bolster precious groundwater resources in this drought-stressed region.

“This mega-drought in the west is a forceful and persistent reminder that bold action is needed to protect our communities and address the climate crisis,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “We see water infrastructure projects—like the Donald C. Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility—as central to climate resiliency and we commend our state and local partners for this project.”

The City of Los Angeles’s Donald C. Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) will turn the city’s wastewater into a sustainable water source to replenish the region’s groundwater and increase its resiliency to drought. Daily, 15.5 million gallons of the city’s wastewater will be purified and used to replenish the San Fernando Basin and its aquifers. EPA’s WIFIA loan will help finance construction of the AWPF and related infrastructure.

“At a time when imported water supplies have grown scarce and we’re facing a statewide drought emergency, it is critically important that we increase our local water resilience,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Through investments in the Advanced Water Purification Facility and our Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, water credit programs like EPA’s WIFIA and the State Revolving Fund are helping to secure a sustainable water future for Los Angeles.”

“As we reconcile our 20th century infrastructure with the realities of a 21st century climate, this project is an investment in the resiliency and innovation that has and will continue to fuel Los Angeles’ future,” said E. Joaquin Esquivel, Chair of the State Water Board. “This critical water recycling project, and a fast growing number throughout the state, are possible thanks to the collaboration and aligned between local, state and federal leadership, funding, and policies.”

The $224 million WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of the $458 million project costs. The remaining project costs will be funded by revenue bonds and borrower cash. This WIFIA loan is expected to save the City of Los Angeles approximately $81 million in interest costs. Project construction and operation are expected to create an estimated 1,400 jobs and construction is expected to be completed in 2027.

Background

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, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.

The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. With this WIFIA loan closing, EPA has announced 60 WIFIA loans that are providing $11.7 billion in credit assistance to help finance approximately over $25 billion for water infrastructure while creating approximately 71,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $4.5 billion.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

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