Monday, May 20, 2024

LDEQ’s Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund seeks eligible projects

by BPT Staff
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The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s (LDEQ) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is opening the call for applications for the 2024 funding cycle. In 1987, the CWSRF program was created through the Title VI of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972. The CWSRF provides below market interest loans to finance qualifying projects to comply with the CWA to protect public health.

The CWSRF is LDEQ’s main tool to help local governments pay for sewage system improvements. CWSRF eligible projects include, but are not limited to, the construction, alteration or repair of publicly owned treatment works (POTW) as well as implementation of nonpoint source pollution control and estuary management programs. Nonpoint pollution such as storm water runoff from highways and fields can be addressed under the program as well.

“The program’s commitment to subsidizing costs for smaller systems has been vital for obtaining and maintaining compliance for rural communities,” Henry Shuler said. Shuler has experience as an engineer and consultant with several local governments in Louisiana to help them apply for and obtain SRF funding. “Our firm has completed numerous projects through CWSRF that otherwise would not have been able to obtain a sustainable blend of loan and grant dollars. The flexibility and efficiency of the program have been key in our experience for a successful project.”

There are typically 20 to 30 wastewater projects funded through the CWSRF program each year. The majority of projects cost between $1 million and $8 million. The program provides around $80 million a year to eligible projects. In its 37 years of existence, CWSRF has provided around $1.3 billion in funding for Louisiana water projects.

Secretary Aurelia Giacometto encourages local municipalities to take advantage of this program. “The State Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund can be a key asset for municipalities to execute projects that improve their waste water systems.”

The CWSRF program provides financial assistance to any political subdivision, public trust, agency or commission of the state in the form of below market interest loans. Subsidy, in the form of principle forgiveness, will be dependent on the program’s affordability criteria for Disadvantaged Communities and availability of subsidy dollars. The affordability criteria can be found in the Intended Use Plan and includes median household income, the project area unemployment percentage and population growth.

Sources of funding for CWSRF is any combination of the following:

–          Annual EPA base capitalization grant

–          Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Supplemental Grant

–          State match funds

–          Repayment dollars

You may find additional eligibility information on our website: www.deq.louisiana.gov/CWSRF. In order to apply, please complete and submit the CWSRF pre-application which can be found by clicking Apply Now!

Applications webpage link: https://deq.louisiana.gov/page/clean-water-state-revolving-fund-application. Deadline for pre-applications is no later than May 1, 2024.

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