State Provides $1.3 Billion in Loans and Grants to Fund Wastewater and Drinking Water Projects / iBerkshires.com

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito administration has announced that 183 projects across the Commonwealth are eligible to receive approximately $1.3 billion in low-interest loans and grants to fund construction, planning and management projects of assets designed to improve water quality, upgrade or replace aging potable water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure, and reduce energy consumption and treatment plant costs.

These offers include nearly $189 million in additional funding that Massachusetts expects to receive from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL) and $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds this year. .

“Wastewater and drinking water facilities play a crucial role in protecting our environment and public health, and this funding supports the efforts of our cities and towns to improve and modernize this vital water infrastructure. said Gov. Charlie Baker. “The Baker-Polito administration has made it a priority to invest in our critical infrastructure, including the proposed two rounds of ARPA funding, to fund important projects. These projects will increase the availability of safe, clean water resources. reliable throughout the Commonwealth for many years to come.”

State Revolving Fund (SRF) funding is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust and funds projects implemented by cities and towns, regional water supply and wastewater treatment districts, and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). The projects include 88 drinking water projects (see Table 1) totaling approximately $963 million and 61 drinking water projects (see Table 1) totaling approximately $363 million. An additional $3.7 million will be provided by the Trust in the form of grants for 34 asset management planning projects. Communities that have been offered SRF funding in this cycle must decide to move forward with the project by June 30, 2022 and secure a local funding authority.

“Our communities deserve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure that fully meets their needs, protects their residents from harm, and preserves our natural resources,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “In addition, this funding from the state’s Revolving Fund will help boost local economies by building new treatment facilities and replacing outdated water lines.”

In accordance with the Clean Energy Results Program under the leadership of MassDEP, 17 of the water infrastructure projects funded relate to renewable energy, energy efficiency or green infrastructure initiatives. Energy use in wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities is a major contributor to the overall energy use of many cities and towns, with communities across the state spending an estimated $150 million annually on electricity to treat 662 billion gallons of wastewater and drinking water. About 30% of municipal energy consumption comes from water treatment.

“I am proud to announce, in collaboration with the Baker-Polito administration, this important investment in the water supply infrastructure of our towns and villages. These projects are essential to the health and well-being of everyone here in Massachusetts,” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, president of the Clean Water Trust. “This increase in federal grants along with low-interest loans through the Trust enables communities to finance cost-effective water infrastructure projects.”

This year, 90 of the new projects are eligible to receive a principal discount. The main rebate is given to renewable energy projects and projects in communities that meet the affordability criteria established by the Clean Water Trust. Affordability criteria consider per capita income, unemployment rate and demographic trends.

The Commonwealth has also proposed to reduce the SRF borrowing rate from 2% to 1.5% for communities that support the Housing Choice Initiative. Twenty-eight candidates have the Housing Choice designation: Acton, Amherst, Andover, Barnstable, Belchertown, Billerica, Boston, Brockton, Burlington, Fall River, Franklin, Framingham, Haverhill, Lawrence, Littleton, Lowell, Lynn, Medfield, Medway, Nantucket , Northampton, Orleans, Quincy, Plymouth, Swampscott, Taunton, Tewksbury and Tyngsborough.

The SRF is made up of two programs that have provided more than $8 billion to Massachusetts projects: the Clean Water Fund, first funded in 1989; and the Clean Water Fund, which began operating in 1999. More information on the two SRF programs can be found here.

This year, the Clean Water SRF is providing $963 million in funding for clean water projects across the Commonwealth. Approximately $898 million will fund 67 new construction projects, $41 million will be allocated to fund four previously approved multi-year projects, $3 million has been allocated to the emergency reserve account, $5 million will be directed to the community-based septic system management program to repair failing septic systems in participating communities, and $15 million will fund 17 proposed planning projects.

This year, the Drinking Water SRF is providing $363 million in funding for drinking water projects across the Commonwealth. Approximately $319 million will fund 43 new construction projects, approximately $29 million will be allocated to fund six previously approved multi-year projects, $5 million will fund an emergency account, and nearly $10 million will be allocated to fund 12 planning projects.

An additional $3.7 million will be provided by the Trust in grants for 34 asset management planning projects, 27 communities qualifying for clean water projects and seven communities qualifying for clean water projects. ‘potable water.

Massachusetts provides subsidized infrastructure funding under the SRF, which is administered by the Trust – a joint effort of MassDEP, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, and the Office of the State Treasurer.

To be eligible for SRF Drinking Water or Potable Water Loans, municipalities, wastewater districts, and water suppliers filed applications with MassDEP last year demonstrating that proposed projects provide significant benefits to public health or water quality, have local financing clearance, and demonstrate that there is a commitment from the borrower to apply for the loan in a timely manner. Projects on the SRF 2022 list must now submit loan applications and receive MassDEP approval to obtain financing.

The next solicitation for SRF project proposals to be considered for the 2023 planned use plan will be opened by MassDEP no later than July 1, 2022.

Keywords: MassDEP,

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