BEAVERTON, Ore. – The City of Beaverton has been invited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans for water infrastructure improvements.
The invitation follows a letter of interest for funding that was submitted to the EPA earlier this year by the city. The letter of interest outlines a $58 million Water Supply Improvement Program that enhances the reliability and resiliency of the city’s water system to meet the needs of our growing urban area.
EPA received 51 letters of interest from both public and private entities in response to the 2019 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Beaverton’s improvement program is one of 38 projects in 18 states that was invited to apply. Together, the projects will provide water infrastructure upgrades for 24 million Americans and will create almost 200,000 jobs.
“Beaverton’s Water Supply Improvement Program is a critical regional water project that will save ratepayers money and help ensure that residents have access to clean, safe, and reliable water for generations to come—while also creating thousands of jobs in the process,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. “I created the WIFIA program to invest in exactly these kinds of projects after hearing from Oregonians that water infrastructure is one of the top issues facing their communities. This program continues to be a great model for delivering results through local and federal collaboration that can save ratepayers millions.”
“As Beaverton continues its rapid growth, it is critical that we take action to protect access to clean and safe drinking water for all,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “I am proud to support Beaverton’s application for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation program, which will allow the city to make crucial updates to its aging and seismically vulnerable infrastructure. The WIFIA loan is a great opportunity for our community, and I commend the City of Beaverton for its important work to secure this funding for our future infrastructure.”
The city’s improvement program includes major new transmission mains, new or improved connections to neighboring purveyors, additional seismically resilient storage, expansion to a new service area, a system-wide advance metering infrastructure system, and a new stormwater reuse system.
“This is exciting news and we are grateful for the invitation from EPA to apply for WIFIA program funding,” said Mayor Denny Doyle. “We are committed to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for our growing community. This is a positive next step in our efforts toward critical water infrastructure improvements that will enhance resiliency for our customers and the greater region. I want to thank our federal congressional delegation, particularly Senator Merkley and Congresswoman Bonamici for their strong support and leadership, and the many partners who have contributed to this opportunity.”
EPA’s WIFIA loans will allow communities across the country to implement projects to address national water priorities, including providing for clean and safe drinking water by reducing exposure to lead and emerging contaminants, addressing aging water infrastructure and developing water recycling and reuse projects. Specifically, eight of the selected projects are water reuse or recycling projects, 11 projects will reduce lead or emerging drinking water contaminants and 33 will address aging infrastructure.
“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing an integral role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure and ensure all Americans have access to clean and safe water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This announcement highlights billions of dollars in needed water infrastructure investments to upgrade aging infrastructure, reduce exposure to lead and emerging contaminants and improve the lives of millions of Americans across the country – all while creating almost 200,000 jobs.”
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 and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.
EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump’s infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility. 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.
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit www.epa.gov/wifia.