Communities in Southeast Ohio, including the Village of Coalton, are receiving more than $16.2 million in low-interest rate and principal forgiveness funding from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2021. The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $8.4 million.

Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $156 million in loans during the third quarter of 2021, including $12.6 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $34 million when compared to market-rate loans. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems. This funding includes assistance to local health districts to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems.

Locally, for the third quarter of 2021, the Village of Coalton is receiving $1.2 million to replace the septic tank effluent gravity collection system that will eliminate sewer overflows in the project area. The wastewater loan includes $1.2 million in principal forgiveness, meaning this loan does not have to be repaid.

Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to a market-rate loan.

Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage stormwater, address combined sewer overflows and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design, and construction activities and enhances the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans make restoration and protection possible for Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.

Ohio’s SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, environmental, and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the SRF funds.

More information about the SRF loan program is available at epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.