EPA loan will help SVCW save an estimated $43m (£34.5m) compared to typical bond financing


Image: Water Division Director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region Tomás Torres with representatives of Silicon Valley Clean Water and other dignitaries at the event. Photo: Courtesy of The Environmental Protection Agency.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to provide a $218m (£175m) loan to Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW) to finance wastewater infrastructure upgrades.

EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan will support SVCW’s Regional Environmental Sewer Conveyance Upgrade (RESCU) Program in upgrading the aging wastewater infrastructure and construct new facilities to improve the system’s safety and reliability and protect the San Francisco Bay.

The programme includes construction of a 5.3km gravity pipeline, replacement of four pump stations and building of a new preliminary treatment facility. The programme will also add capacity to manage stormwater. When the project is completed, SVCW will be able to handle future wastewater wet weather flows of up to 108 million gallons per day.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “This $218 million WIFIA loan will help the Bay Area upgrade its wastewater infrastructure and protect the health of the bay and local residents while at the same time creating well-paying jobs.

“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing a leading role in President Trump’s efforts to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, create jobs, and safeguard public health and the environment. EPA has issued nine WIFIA loans under President Trump totaling over $2 billion in credit assistance to help finance over $5 billion for water infrastructure projects and create over 6,000 jobs.”

EPA loan to fund eligible project costs and capitalised interest

The RESCU Program is expected to cost $495m (£398m). EPA’s loan will be funding the eligible project costs and capitalised interest, which has a combined value of $517m (£415.6m).

EPA’s loan will finance a significant amount of up to $218m (£175m) and will help SVCW save an estimated $43m (£34.5m) compared to typical bond financing. The project construction and operation is also expected to create 400 jobs.

Silicon Valley Clean Water plant manager Teresa Herrera said: “SVCW’s mission to protect public health and the environment in a cost efficient, practical, and responsible manner is greatly facilitated by receiving a loan under the WIFIA loan program.

“We are appreciative that the U.S. government supports critical wastewater infrastructure upgrades and understands the value of protecting our environment and supporting our local economy.”