VA - EPA Chief Announces $225 Million WIFIA Loan for Hampton Roads Sanitation District
At a recent event in Suffolk, Virginia, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a $225 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD).
This WIFIA loan represents the first loan provided under an agreement that will commit $1.05 billion in WIFIA assistance to help finance one of the first major water reuse programs on the east coast of the United States.
“EPA has helped finance $14.5 billion in water infrastructure through the WIFIA loan program to better protect public health and support projects including those that enhance water reuse,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By supporting projects in Virginia through the Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Program, new infrastructure can be built to protect groundwater and save ratepayers money.”
The SWIFT program will use innovative water reuse and advanced water treatment technologies to replenish the overdrawn Potomac Aquifer and restore its water supply. It will implement more than 20 projects across the service area to upgrade existing treatment works, adding advanced water treatment facilities and multiple wells to add drinking water quality SWIFT Water to the stressed Potomac Aquifer. By replenishing the Potomac Aquifer, the program will help restore water supply, prevent saltwater intrusion, and mitigate land subsidence related to aquifer withdrawals in coastal Virginia. The program will also improve the quality of the Chesapeake Bay by reducing surface water discharges by approximately 100 million gallons per day—90 percent of HRSD’s discharge to the Bay watershed.
The sustainability, security and resiliency benefits of this project highlight EPA’s commitments under the National Water Reuse Action Plan. The Action Plan identifies 37 specific actions across 11 strategic themes, including highlighting the potential for WIFIA to help finance water reuse projects. Over the coming months, EPA will be seeking input from stakeholders that will help inform the next iteration of the Action Plan, which is slated for release in Spring 2021.