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Report: Water Infrastructure Funds Surge in 2006

Release Date: 03/27/2007
Contact Information: (Media Only) Dale Kemery, (202) 564-4355 / kemery.dale@ (Other inquiries) Kit Farber, (202) 564-0686 /

(Washington, D.C. - March 27, 2007) The Environmental Protection Agency invested more than $900 million in 2006 to help states and municipalities update their wastewater infrastructure. Combined with state contributions, total financial assistance for wastewater projects topped $5 billion for the first time according to the just-released Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) 2006 Annual Report. Since the CWSRF program began 20 years ago, more than 18,000 loans totaling more than $57 billion have been provided to help rebuild and refurbish the nation's wastewater infrastructure.

“The State Clean Water Funds are revolving and evolving to reach new levels of success and sustainability. EPA's national report underscores the importance of innovation and partnership to increase environmental results in watersheds and communities across America” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA assistant administrator for water.

The report points to greater emphasis placed on community outreach programs last year. The programs stimulate participation and encourage new approaches to providing information about the CWSRF. Although participation is voluntary, all 50 states and Puerto Rico are now tracking the link between project assistance and environmental benefits. The low-interest loans help communities restore and protect aquatic life, recreational uses and drinking water sources.

The CWSRF is the largest federal funding program for wastewater infrastructure projects, such as treatment plants and collection systems. It is an outgrowth of 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act. The fund is self-sustaining in that the interest derived from loans as they are repaid helps expand the program to provide even broader funding in future years.

The CWSRF includes annual EPA contributions matched with at least an additional 20 percent from the states. The states, in turn, make low-interest loans to local utilities. The interest income and repayments derived from the loans help fund future projects. Many states also issue bonds, which added $1.82 billion to the fund last year. Annual CWSRF assistance has averaged nearly $5 billion. Borrowers save an average of 20 percent on financing costs over the life of the loan.

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