The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making $6 billion in loans available under the Water Infrastructure Finance in Innovation Act (WIFIA) program to support up to $12 billion in critical water infrastructure projects. For the first time, the program will provide funding expressly to states.

The 2020 funding announcement marks WIFIA’s fourth round. Since the program was established in 2014, EPA has issued 24 WIFIA loans totaling $5.3 billion in credit assistance to help finance $11.7 billion for water infrastructure projects.

This year, the $6-billion funding total includes up to $1 billion for state water infrastructure projects under the new state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. The SWIFIA program provides long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.

EPA will prioritize construction-ready projects in three areas: updating aging infrastructure, reducing exposure to lead and addressing emerging contaminants, and water reuse and recycling.

EPA will accept letters of interest from WIFIA applicants for 90 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register, and for state applicants, for 60 days after the notice is published.