As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 50th anniversary celebration, the agency announced a $40 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Toho Water Authority in Kissimmee. The loan will help finance projects that will improve the efficiency of the existing sewer and wastewater management systems and support community growth without needing to expand the existing wastewater treatment facility.
“This WIFIA loan will improve water quality and support the economy of Kissimmee while delivering on President Trump’s commitment to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, create jobs and safeguard public health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “With this loan closing, EPA has now issued 16 WIFIA loans totaling more than $3.5 billion in credit assistance to help finance more than $8 billion for water infrastructure projects while creating more than 16,000 jobs.”
“By investing in water infrastructure, the Toho Water Authority is improving water quality in their community and protecting public health,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “Through the WIFIA loan program, EPA works to fund critical repairs necessary to strengthen our wastewater treatment and drinking water distribution systems.”
Toho Water Authority will repair, rehabilitate and replace sewer mains, sewer lines and manholes, including 65 wastewater pumping station basins and over 900,000 feet of gravity mains. The project will mitigate emergency failures such as sanitary sewer overflows that result from problems with the current infrastructure and reduce inflow and infiltration into the gravity sewer system. These improvements will benefit 300,000 people by effectively increasing treatment capacity while allowing further community growth without expanding the existing wastewater treatment facility.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein said, “through these loans, EPA is providing critical funding and support as the Toho Water Authority in Kissimmee, Florida works to improve their sewer and wastewater management systems. We applaud EPA’s commitment to improving Florida’s water quality.”
“Toho’s investment in these projects will continue to improve the reliability of our wastewater infrastructure while demonstrating our ongoing commitment to safeguarding public health and the State’s water quality,” said Toho Water Authority, Board Chairman, Clarence Thacker. “We are grateful to the EPA and Congress, including our local delegation which includes Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott and Congressman Darren Soto, who have made the acceleration of our wastewater infrastructure improvements possible through this low-interest WIFIA loan program.
This project—referred to as the Accelerated Gravity Sewer Assessment and Rehabilitation project—will cost $81.9 million. EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of that figure—up to $40.1 million. The WIFIA loan will save the Toho Water Authority an estimated $7.9 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create 198 jobs.
Last week a $59 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan was announced for the Coachella Valley Water District to help finance stormwater channel improvements that will better manage heavy rains to protect communities’ surface waters and public health.
“This new WIFIA loan will help fund important water infrastructure upgrades in the Coachella Valley that will protect the health of local residents and ensure that stormwater is well managed,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
“With this loan closing, EPA has now issued 15 WIFIA loans totaling more than $3.5 billion in credit assistance to help finance more than $8 billion for water infrastructure projects while creating more than 15,000 jobs.”
For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.