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Polk Water Coop Seeking Federal Funds

 

Last updated 10/30/2019 at 1:41pm

The Polk Regional Water Cooperative (PRWC) has been invited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to apply for a federal loan to fund the first two projects in a regional, alternative water supply program. If successful, the PRWC could qualify for as much as $235 million towards capital infrastructure costs.

The loan program, established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) of 2014, is a federal loan guarantee program administered by the EPA. According to the EPA, WIFIA loans will allow communities across the country to implement projects to address national water priorities – including providing for clean and safe drinking water by reducing exposure to lead and emerging contaminants, addressing aging water infrastructure and developing water recycling and reuse projects. The PRWC submitted a letter of interest in July 2019 detailing the project components and emphasizing regional importance. The 2019 WIFIA funding cycle included 51 letters of interest from around the country; EPA invited 38 entities to apply.

With this WIFIA funding, the Water Cooperative seeks to leverage local funding resources with Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) grants and with loans, such as those from the Florida Department of Environmental Projection State Revolving Fund. This effort is part of a larger comprehensive funding method being implemented by the PRWC to streamline their funding needs.

Faced with ever-increasing population growth, the PRWC formed in 2016 to identify alternative water resources and projects that would augment drinking water supplies while preventing over-pumping of the existing sources.

"Polk Regional Water Cooperative's local partners are committed to supporting regional water initiatives which enable the PRWC to make tremendous progress in formulating a water supply program," said PRWC Executive Director Ryan Taylor. "This loan is one more step towards providing PRWC members a long-term financial model for program implementation which is equitable and responsible."

To learn more about the 38 projects, visit

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-invites-38-new-projects-apply-water-infrastructure-loans-improve-water-quality

 

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