BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (January 12, 2021) — Tuesday, the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) received official notification that they were approved to receive credit assistance of up to $147,147,000 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, highly sought after by organizations across the nation, awarded BWWB the first loan in the state of Alabama to supplement funding for rehabilitating the system’s intricate infrastructure.
“We’re ecstatic for this opportunity that will inevitably save our ratepayers money,” says BWWB General Manager Michael Johnson. “This low interest loan will provide a significant part of the cash needed to fund our five-year capital improvement plan that we spend a great deal of time developing and implementing in order to modernize our water infrastructure in ways that improve public health and protect the environment.”
The WIFIA program, which accelerates investment in water infrastructure by providing long term, low-cost supplemental loans for significant projects, has granted this line of credit to other major cities including $85 million to the City of San Mateo, California, and $35 million to the City of Atlanta, Georgia. This offer to BWWB is among the largest awarded to any entity to date.
“When you think of the commitment that we’ve made to replacing aged water infrastructure in several areas of our distribution system, this low-interest investment will be critical in getting the necessary work completed in a cost-efficient manner. Our internal team worked diligently on this application process, and we’re so thrilled that our efforts have afforded us this opportunity,” says Assistant General Manager of Engineering and Maintenance Derrick Murphy.
In addition to making funds available for major infrastructure rehabilitation, this program also expands potential employment in the construction industry which shares a role in stimulating the local economy.
Underwriting this transaction, pending approval by the BWW Board of Directors, is expected to commence within the next several weeks.
For more information, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-invites-55-new-projects-apply-wifia-loans-improve-water-quality.