EPA Announces $284 Million WIFIA Loan to Upgrade Water Infrastructure in DeKalb County, Georgia

Nationwide, 83 WIFIA loans finance nearly $32 billion in water infrastructure improvements, creating 95,000 jobs

WASHINGTON — At an event today with DeKalb County Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael L. Thurmond and other local officials, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) for Water, Radhika Fox, announced a $284 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to DeKalb County, Georgia, to help fund the water infrastructure renewal program. With the WIFIA loan from the EPA, DeKalb County is upgrading infrastructure to provide safe and reliable drinking water to more than 750,000 residents while building capacity for sustainable growth.

“Water is essential to everything we do. We need to upgrade old, outdated water infrastructure like we see here in DeKalb County to protect public health and the environment while helping communities grow into a bright future,” said EPA Deputy Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Through this EPA funding, Dekalb County will see critical infrastructure improvements to ensure clean, safe drinking water while saving money. Projects like these are a necessary service to communities and the reason we are making a historic investment in water infrastructure across the country through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.

“Clean water is imperative for the health of our children, our families and our communities”, said Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-6). “Upgrading the infrastructure we rely on to deliver such a vital resource as clean drinking water is a crucial part of supporting sustainable growth. I’m proud of the work the Environmental Protection Agency is supporting here. in our community, and I’m excited to see how this loan will meet the needs of our friends and neighbours.”

“I am grateful to the EPA for investing in Georgia and in the health and well-being of Fourth District residents in particular,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04), a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee. “I want to thank Deputy Administrator Fox, Regional Administrator Blackman and CEO Thurmond for their unwavering commitment to providing citizens with quality drinking water. As a member of the T&I Committee, I will continue my work to support existing projects and programs and authorize new ones to help update and modernize our water infrastructure.

The Water Infrastructure Renewal Program will modernize DeKalb County’s aging drinking water distribution system. The program includes the replacement of water mains in the distribution system to address water main breaks. This new infrastructure will reduce water loss to protect public health and safety and improve customer service. The program also upgrades the disinfection system, adds backup power and replaces water storage tanks to increase capacity. By investing in a modernization project to upgrade existing drinking water infrastructure, DeKalb County will improve the resiliency of the system and be able to provide reliable water service to the community well into the future.

“On behalf of the DeKalb Board of Commissioners and county residents, I want to thank the EPA for being a trusted partner and supporting our efforts to ensure safe, high-quality drinking water for years to come” , said Michael Thurmond, CEO of DeKalb. “The capital improvements made with these funds will also protect public health and safety, ensure sustainable growth and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

DeKalb County will save more than $60 million by financing with WIFIA loans. Construction is expected to be completed in 2028, and construction and operation are expected to create nearly 2,000 jobs.

More information on the WIFIA program.

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Funding and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by the EPA. WIFIA’s objective is to accelerate investments in the country’s water infrastructure by providing additional long-term, low-cost credit support for projects of regional and national importance.

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 the closing of this WIFIA loan, the EPA announced 83 WIFIA loans that provide nearly $15 billion in credit assistance to help finance nearly $32 billion for water infrastructure while creating approximately 95,000 jobs and saving taxpayers over $5 billion.

More information on the achievements of the WIFIA program until 2021.

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