New Jersey will be the first state to receive an EPA loan under the new State Infrastructure Financing Authority Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (SWIFIA) program.
The federal agency will send $500 million to the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank to modernize wastewater and drinking water systems in the Garden State.
“The EPA is thrilled to announce our first SWIFIA loan to New Jersey, a state that is making great strides in utilizing water infrastructure investments to improve access to clean, safe water for all residents,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox.
The funding will be used to invest in over 90 communities across the state, which could affect over 10 million people. Thirty-six of the communities are considered small, while 39 are considered disadvantaged.
In general, funding will be allocated towards critical water infrastructure projects, remediating contaminated groundwater, replacing lead service lines, and installing filtration systems to protect drinking water from PFAS contamination.
The investments will help local communities maintain or meet regulatory requirements while managing flooding and climate change.
The loan could create 16,000 jobs across the state, a fact local politicians grabbed onto.
“In addition to helping our state secure safe, healthy, and efficient wastewater and drinking water systems for all New Jerseyans, the EPA’s support will also help generate good-paying jobs in our expanding water workforce,” said Murphy.
Lead Pipe Removal
“This funding will create hundreds of jobs and advance water infrastructure projects to address contaminants in drinking water, install water filtration systems, and replace lead pipes across our state,” added Sen. Cory Booker.
The WIFIA and SWIFIA programs were first established under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014. The program was designed to accelerate water infrastructure across the nation.
EPA noted the program has an active pipeline of pending projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment. The WIFIA program has announced more than 96 loans providing $17 billion in credit assistance.