WEF Joins in Sending Letters Supporting WIFIA Funding

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) has joined others in the water sector to ask U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan, and members of Congress to support funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. WEF, the American Water Works Association (Denver), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.), and National Association of Clean Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.) sent a letter to McCarthy on Oct. 31, a letter to Donovan on Nov. 3, and a letter to Congress on Nov. 3.

The organizations request that full funding for the newly authorized WIFIA be included in EPA’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budgets and that funding for the SRF programs be maintained. The letter to Congress also requests that the FY 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill fund the program’s $20 million FY15 authorization. The letter to Donovan also requests that no changes be made to the tax benefits of tax-exempt municipal bonds.

The WIFIA program is authorized to receive $25 million in FY16, which would equal approximately $250 million in loans for water infrastructure projects. The WIFIA pilot is intended to supplement the SRFs by delivering a new stream of low-cost financing for large-scale water and wastewater projects that are unlikely to benefit from traditional SRF financing.

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