Indianapolis — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wheeler spent the day in Indianapolis speaking to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Indiana Environmental Conference, closing a $436 million Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA), and touring Citizens Energy Group’s DigIndy project.
“The Trump Administration is pleased to award the state of Indiana a $436 million water infrastructure loan that will be used to improve water quality and protect the health of millions of Hoosiers,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By using its State Revolving Fund assets to leverage a WIFIA loan, Indiana’s innovative financing approach will allow it to lend nearly $900 million to more than 20 projects across the state, including 10 in rural communities. This approach should serve as a model for other states to use to maximize federal and state resources and improve water infrastructure for a much broader swath of their state.”
“When we say infrastructure, we often think of our roads, but Indiana has more than 46,000 miles of water infrastructure,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. “Delivering clean water and protecting public health are top priorities, and I am grateful that our partnership with the EPA will help empower communities across Indiana to take our water systems to the Next Level.”
"In Indiana, we aren’t afraid to make history. We are honored to be the first state to receive WIFIA financing directly to our State Revolving Fund program," said IFA Chief Operating Officer Jim McGoff.
“As a life-long conservationist, this WIFIA loan from President Trump’s EPA will improve water quality for millions of Hoosiers across the state,” said U.S. Senator Mike Braun. “Hoosiers should be proud that President Trump’s EPA is restoring regulatory certainty, while creating good-paying jobs and, most importantly, securing access to clean, drinkable water for generations to come.”
“I am pleased to see that Indiana is receiving a $436 million WIFIA loan to help with critical water infrastructure needs. This investment will help Hoosiers across the state, including those in rural communities, receive important funding to strengthen and improve their water infrastructure,” said U.S. Representative Dr. Larry Bucshon (IN-08). “As a physician, I understand the importance clean and reliable water infrastructure plays in the health of our citizens and the vitality of our agriculture.”
"Indiana’s economy is experiencing historic growth, and keeping that momentum going strong requires a modern infrastructure built for the 21st century," said U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (IN-02). "I’m grateful to Administrator Wheeler and Governor Holcomb for their commitment to upgrading our aging water infrastructure and ensuring Hoosiers have clean drinking water, and I look forward to continuing our work together to make our communities stronger."
During Administrator Wheeler’s keynote remarks at the Indiana Environmental Conference he highlighted the progress the agency has made in providing certainty to states, tribes and local governments, within EPA programs, and for risk communication.
Following his remarks, Administrator Wheeler toured the DigIndy project, which will help keep the utility in compliance with a Consent Decree with the EPA, reduce combined sewer overflows, and improve water quality.
The Administrator wrapped up his day in the Hoosier state at the Indiana State Capital to close EPA’s 13th WIFIA loan with Governor Holcomb. The $436 million WIFIA loan to the IFA, which includes the largest initial disbursement under WIFIA to date, will help finance 23 drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects, including 10 projects in rural communities throughout the Hoosier state. With this loan closing, EPA has now issued over $3.5 billion in credit assistance through WIFIA loans to help finance over $8 billion in water infrastructure projects and create over 15,000 jobs.
SOURCE: U.S. EPA