The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $221 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the New Jersey Infrastructure I-Bank.
With this loan, the New Jersey State Revolving Fund (SRF) Program, a partnership between the NJDEP and the I-Bank, is investing in 28 water infrastructure projects to modernize water systems to protect public health and the environment for over 5.8 million people in the state.
“EPA is proud to partner with New Jersey to innovatively invest WIFIA funding and benefit many communities by removing dangerous lead service lines, strengthening drinking water systems, safely returning wastewater to the environment, and uplifting low-income communities and communities of color,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox.
The WIFIA funding, combined with New Jersey SRF funds, will support a total $588 million in infrastructure for New Jersey communities that will advance public health, save money, and create local jobs. The New Jersey Infrastructure Bank’s pool of SRF projects include 26 drinking water projects that address local challenges, including removing contaminants, preventing leaks, improving system resiliency, and replacing lead service lines.
Two wastewater projects will also receive funding. These projects will improve treatment capacity and provide higher a level of treatment at wastewater treatment facilities.
The entities receiving this financing serve over 5.8 million people. This includes six disadvantaged communities that will receive approximately $360 million in financing, or 61 percent of the total.
“Thanks to the EPA’s support, these critical investments will together benefit more than half of the state’s population, including New Jerseyans in communities most at risk of flooding, contaminated drinking water, and inadequate wastewater infrastructure,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “In New Jersey, we recognize that the state of our economy is inextricably linked to the health of our residents and our environment. By generating jobs and maintaining water affordability, these projects will not only advance public health and sustainability but stimulate economic growth as well.”
“We are very grateful to the EPA for this loan. Modernizing our water infrastructure and doing so wisely is a high priority for the Murphy Administration,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “By bringing this infrastructure up to date, we will be ensuring the highest standards of protection for public health and the environment, such as the important improvements at this Moorestown water treatment plant, and we will be creating jobs and economic growth. This WIFIA loan will result in some 1,800 jobs and save the state approximately $51 million in NJ State Revolving Funds, allowing the I-Bank to finance more projects without costing borrowers or the state one dime.”