Ohio EPA is accepting nominations for drinking water infrastructure improvements that need financial assistance through the state’s Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA).

In order to be considered for Program Year 2022 funding, project nomination forms and supporting information must be submitted by email to [email protected] by March 3, 2021.

“While Governor DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative continues to help improve water quality throughout the state, this financing program specifically helps improve access to safe drinking water,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. “Community leaders across Ohio should consider using the state revolving loan account to make infrastructure improvements that may be needed to ensure their residents continue to have safe drinking water.”

Highlights for Program Year 2022 priorities include:

• About $10 million in principal forgiveness will be offered for priority areas such as regionalization and extension of water service to residential areas currently using contaminated private wells or wells with inadequate supply. Principal forgiveness refers to the principal portion of a loan that does not require repayment.

• Lead service line replacement projects will continue to be a special area of emphasis for principal forgiveness funding. More than $15 million in principal forgiveness is available for the replacement of public and private lead service lines.

• No interest loans will be offered to projects focused on PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) remediation, lead service line replacement, system regionalization, project planning and design and harmful algal bloom (HAB) issues.

Construction projects must by nominated by March 3, 2021; planning and design, PFAS remediation, lead service line replacement and HAB projects may be nominated any time during the program year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit projects during the nomination period for funding consideration from WSRLA. Applications must be received during the nomination period to be considered for additional funds that may become available during the program year, such as H2Ohio.

The WSRLA offers below-market rate loans to eligible public water systems to fund infrastructure improvements that eliminate public health threats and ensure compliance with federal and state drinking water laws and regulations.

The program is administered by Ohio EPA with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Since 1998, the WSRLA has provided over $1.9 billion in community loan assistance and saved its customers more than $437 million in interest expense.

Projects may be nominated by following instructions and forms available at https://epa.ohio.gov/defa/ofa#1696510030-wsrla. The 2022 program year is July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.