EPA Announces $105 Million WIFIA Loan to Improve Water Infrastructure in Sarasota County, Florida

Nationally, 67 WIFIA loans are financing $27 billion in water infrastructure upgrades, creating 77,000 jobs

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $105 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Sarasota County, Florida. The financed project will upgrade water infrastructure to support population growth and water reuse now and in the future.

“In Sarasota County, and all across the country, EPA is investing in water infrastructure to meet community needs while creating good-paying local jobs that cannot be outsourced,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With this project, Sarasota is poised for a stronger, more sustainable and resilient future. Thanks to the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, many more communities will benefit from the win-win of water infrastructure investment.”

“By improving water infrastructure, we are improving the quality of life and public health in our communities,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the WIFIA loan program, EPA is happy to support Sarasota County in ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water for generations to come.”

Sarasota County’s Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility Expansion and Advanced Wastewater Treatment Conversion Project will upgrade the Bee Ridge facility’s wastewater treatment capacity from 12 million gallons per day to 18 million gallons per day to meet customer demand. The modernized facility will provide a sustainable water supply for irrigation upon the project’s completion and will increase the county’s ability to implement other water reuse options in the future. It will also improve water quality by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharged into local waterbodies. Implementing innovative wastewater treatment processes will help the county to comply with current and future regulatory requirements.

“This loan will help to improve and protect our water quality, and save our citizens money,” said Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners’ Chairman Alan Maio. “This continues to be a priority for our board, and the EPA’s support is a testament to our ongoing commitment to fiscal and environmental responsibility.”

EPA’s $105 million WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of the $214 million project costs. Sarasota County will save approximately $22 million through its WIFIA financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create an estimated 688 jobs and construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. 

The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. With this WIFIA loan closing, EPA has announced 67 WIFIA loans that are providing $12.6 billion in credit assistance to help finance $27 billion for water infrastructure while creating approximately 77,000 jobs and saving ratepayers $4.7 billion.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

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