EPA Approves $614M WIFIA Loan for San Diego Project
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $614-million loan to the City of San Diego for a water purification project. Issued on Nov. 27, the loan is part of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and will cover about 44% of the drinking-water facility’s estimated $1.4-billion cost. EPA said that the WIFIA loan’s low interest rate is estimated to save the city as much as $184 million, compared with using conventional bonds. Construction on the project is to begin in 2019 and officials are aiming for a 2023 completion. WIFIA was launched under a 2014 water resources law but got off to a slow start, partly due to a small amount of appropriations. Lately, however, EPA has stepped up the pace. The San Diego loan brings total 2018 credit assistance provided to more than $1.5 billion. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission received the largest WIFIA loan to date, $699 million, issued July 30.