The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to provide a loan of $99.7m to Miami-Dade County, Florida to support advanced wastewater infrastructure upgrades.


Image: EPA Administrator Wheeler at the press conference held at South District Wastewater Treatment Plant in Miami-Dade County. Photo: Courtesy of The United States Environmental Protection Agency.

With the nearly $100m Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan from EPA, Miami‐Dade Water and Sewer Department will build deep injection wells at its three wastewater treatment plants, which will allow in redirecting treated wastewater from ocean outfalls to these wells.

The project is required to be completed by 2025 to comply with the State of Florida’s ocean outfall legislation. It is expected to increase the availability of reclaimed water for potential reuse, reduce overflow of sanitary sewer for the county’s 2.3 million residents,  and meet advanced wastewater treatment levels.

EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “EPA’s nearly $100 million WIFIA loan to Miami-Dade County will help construct advanced wastewater treatment technologies that will protect our oceans and beaches while creating valuable jobs.

“Through the WIFIA program, EPA is fulfilling several of President Trump’s top priorities simultaneously: upgrading our nation’s water infrastructure, protecting water resources, and creating well-paying jobs.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said: “President Trump’s administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to helping address Florida’s unique water challenges.

“These federal dollars being released by the EPA will be invested in critical water infrastructure upgrades and help protect the water supply for millions of Floridians for generations to come. We continue to do our part at the state level to push for historic investments to protect and restore our environment and water quality.”

The wastewater project in Miami-Dade County is estimated to be undertaken at a cost of $203.5m. EPA’s loan will cover nearly half of the amount. Additionally, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will provide about $59.8m from its State Revolving Fund.

Both the federal agency’s WIFIA and the State Revolving Fund loans are expected to  support the county to realize nearly $15.7m in cost savings, compared to a typical bond issuance. Construction and operational phases of the project is expected to create about 95 jobs.