NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL and the DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES’ DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902; Melanie.Rapp@state.de.us
Lower interest rate, longer repayment terms offered by DNREC,
Public Health for clean water and drinking water projects
Deadline for Notices-of-Intent for proposed projects is March 27
DOVER (March 20, 2015) – Clean water and drinking water project loans are now available at a reduced interest rate and for extended repayment terms through the Delaware Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. An interest rate of 2 percent and a payment term of up to 30 years are being offered for an interim period through December 31, 2015 to eligible municipalities, private organizations, nonprofits and individuals to help make projects more affordable and to stimulate interest in clean water and drinking water projects.
“The new interim interest rate policy serves as a tool to move critical clean water and drinking water projects forward using funds currently available. We are especially eager to provide loans at these highly desirable rates and terms, available for the first time for applicants who otherwise may not have been able to undertake projects that protect their health and nearby water resources,” said DNREC Secretary David Small.
In addition, based on project affordability, potential borrowers of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) may receive additonal loan subsidies, such as an interest rate lower than 2 percent and/or principal loan forgiveness to help make projects even more affordable.
CWSRF and DWSRF applicants are required to submit a Notice-of-Intent for each proposed project no later than March 27. Notice-of-Intent forms are available on DNREC’s web site at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fab/Pages/default.aspx. Potential borrowers will have another opportunity to submit projects for funding consideration at the end of August.
In the past two months, DNREC and DHSS hosted three stakeholder workshops on the CWSRF and DWSRF programs and the interim interest rate policy. At the workshops, program administrators outlined loan requirements, assistance eligibilities, and the process for submitting wastewater, stormwater, drinking water and green infrastructure projects for funding consideration.
Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program is administered by DNREC’s Financial Assistance Branch (FAB). FAB provides planning, engineering and financial assistance through low-interest loans and grants to eligible applicants for a wide range of projects that repair and expand wastewater facilities, help homeowners replace failing septic systems, and farmers implement non-point source best management practices. Funds also support construction projects that control flooding and reduce stormwater runoff and erosion in communities; protect drinking water wells from pollution; protect the water quality of our bays, rivers and streams; and improve energy efficiency at wastewater facilities, saving taxpayers money.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is administered by the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health. Municipal, private, and/or community public water systems are eligible to apply for low-interest loans for drinking water construction projects. Examples of important public health projects recently funded are: distribution system upgrades, storage tank installation, and drinking water treatment plant improvements.
The CWSRF and DWSRF are funded by annual U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants and 20 percent state matching funds. Funds are loaned out at below-market interest rates, providing a more affordable way for communities and other eligible entities to finance high-cost infrastructure and other clean water and drinking water projects. Loan repayments are recycled back into the program to be loaned out for other eligible projects. The CWSRF and DWSRF programs serve as a revolving funding source that will last into the future.
CWSRF and DWSRF projects are reviewed and recommended for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council (WIAC). The Council has advisory oversight for the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. The 13-member Council, appointed by Governor Markell, advises the Governor and Secretaries of DNREC, DHSS and Finance regarding the operations of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs.
State Bond Bill appropriations provide the required state matching funds for the CWSRF and DWSRF program. Between 1990 and 2014, the General Assembly through the Bond Bill and 21st Century Fund appropriated $39 million and $29 million, respectively, in state funds to match $212 million and $168 million in EPA funds for the CWSRF and DWSRF programs.
For more information, visit DNREC’s website, http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fab/Pages/default.aspx.
Vol. 45, No. 70