News | October 28, 2021

EPA Announces $13.8M WIFIA Loan To Improve Drinking Water Quality In Great Neck, New York

Nationally, 61 WIFIA loans are financing over $25B in water infrastructure upgrades, creating 71,000 jobs

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $13.8M Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Water Authority of Great Neck North, New York, to help finance infrastructure upgrades that will modernize its water treatment plant to better address potential contaminants and better protect public health.

“For the City of Great Neck—and communities across the country—safe drinking water is foundational to health and opportunity,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This WIFIA loan will help finance critical upgrades to Great Neck’s water treatment facility to mitigate challenges with chemicals like 1,4-dioxane and PFAS that can negatively impact our health.”

The Water Authority of Great Neck North’s Watermill Lane Water Treatment and Watermain Upgrade Projects will improve drinking water quality for the system’s 32,000 users. The projects include PFAS and 1,4-dioxane treatment system installation for three of the Authority’s wells, water main upgrades, and fire protection improvements along two main corridors of the service area. Together, these projects will help ensure safe delivery of water supplies, protect public health, and help meet new statewide regulatory requirements for these contaminants.

“Funding from the EPA will help offset the enormous expenses associated with developing modern treatment plants and other vital infrastructure, so the Authority can meet New York State’s newly established drinking water standards, which are among the most stringent in the country,” said Water Authority of Great Neck North Superintendent Gregory C. Graziano. “The Authority is making significant investments to maintain its long track record of providing the public with drinking water that meets or exceeds all standards set by public health officials, with no exceptions. When it comes to public health and safety, the Authority will take whatever measures are needed to meet those strict new standards and to ensure an adequate supply is provided for firefighting needs.”

“Even with the Authority’s consistent AA+ bond rating, which is the highest among its peers across the country, the low-interest loan being offered by the EPA is more favorable than any other available loans at this time,” Mr. Graziano added.

The $13.8M WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of the $28M initial project costs. The remaining project costs will be funded by revenue bonds and borrower cash. The Water Authority of Great Neck North will save over $1.9M by financing the projects with a WIFIA loan. The projects construction and operation are expected to create an estimated 224 jobs and construction is expected to be completed in 2022.

About Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.

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 this WIFIA loan closing, EPA has announced 61 WIFIA loans that are providing $11.7B in credit assistance to help finance approximately over $25Bfor water infrastructure while creating nearly 71,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $4.5B.

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Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency