Idaho Awarded Almost $15 Million for Critical Water Projects

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Posted: Sunday, October 22, 2017 7:44 pm | Updated: 2:37 pm, Wed Oct 25, 2017.

SEATTLE, Wash. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is awarding $14.6 million to Idaho’s clean water and drinking water revolving funds to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be used to finance water quality protection and drinking water projects that will last far into the future.

"Investments in water infrastructure are part of our back-to-basics agenda," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "We will work with Idaho and our other state partners to continue to provide clean, safe water."

The $14.6 million in additional funding announced will be used across Idaho for water quality projects that will reduce water pollution, improve municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, make projects more sustainable by increasing water and energy efficiency, and provide technical assistance to communities.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, administered by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, was awarded $6.4 million. The program provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems, control pollution from rain water runoff, and protect sensitive water bodies and estuaries.

Since 1987, Idaho has received more than $200 million in annual CWSRF capitalization grants. Combined with state match and repayments, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has provided more than $552 million in low-interest CWSRF loans for water quality and wastewater projects. Some of the projects that have received funding through the CWSRF include:

  • Wastewater lagoon upgrades in Franklin
  • Improvements to sewer and wastewater treatment system in Ashton
  • Installation of collection system, lift station, and lift station control building for West Bonner Water & Sewer District

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, also administered by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, was awarded $8.2 million. The program provides low-interest loans to finance improvements to drinking water systems, with a particular focus on providing funds to small and disadvantaged communities.

Since the program’s program inception in 1997, the state of Idaho has received $196 million in annual DWSRF capitalization grants. Those funds, along with state match and repayments, have allowed Idaho to provide more than $230 million in DWSRF loans.

DWSRF projects in Idaho that have received funding from previous capitalization grants include a new water reservoir for the city of Blackfoot, water main replacement in American Falls, installation of water meters in Kimberly and a microfiltration facility for Central Shoshone County Water District.

"We really appreciate having these sources of funding every year," said Tim Wendland, Idaho DEQ Loans and Grants Manager. "This is much-needed funding that supports public health and water quality projects throughout the state."

In addition to providing grant funds through the SRFs and other programs, EPA technical experts and managers provide their expertise to local, state, and tribal grant recipients on strategy development, research, technical needs, and compliance and enforcement.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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