REDWOOD CITY (BCN) – EPA Administrator Michael Regan arrived in Redwood City on Tuesday to announce three water infrastructure loans that will contribute $ 168 million to support projects in the Peninsula and East Bay.
The loans under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) are aimed at upgrading water infrastructure throughout the country to be safe and sustainable.
“I have seen firsthand the urgency of modernizing our country’s water infrastructure and ensuring that it can withstand the impacts of climate change,” Regan said. “Investing in our water infrastructure is one of the best decisions we can make to improve the health of our communities and the health of our economy.”
Two loans were awarded to Silicon Valley Clean Water, a joint government that treats and treats the wastewater of 220,000 residents and businesses in Southern San Mateo County.
The latest loans totaling $ 143 million will help fund their RESCU program – 11 projects that represent the complete replacement and rehabilitation of the SVCW transportation system, including the Gravity pipeline, and other improvements to its treatment facilities.
“This is a huge project for our residents,” said Alicia Aguirre, chair of the Silicon Valley Clean Water Commission.
Aguirre said the project will ensure residents have clean water that can be reused and do not have to pay extra fees.
“This is why these loans are so important because we now have modern infrastructure (to save costs),” Aguirre said.
“What I’m most excited about is the jobs it brings and helping the economy… especially during COVID,” said Teresa Herrera, Silicon Valley Clean Water Manager. “This, along with the sustainability and innovative technology that we use.”
The refurbishment of the treatment plant, which was built in 1980, will create over 2,300 jobs and is expected to be completed by 2023.
The remaining $ 25 million loan is being allocated to the Oro Loma Sanitary District in Alameda County to fund the modernization of the sewerage system.
273 miles of clay pipes, built in the 1940s and 50s, have fallen into disrepair and will be renovated with WIFIA loans.
“So we’re very excited,” said Rita Duncan, chairman of the board of Oro Loma. “But another great thing is that we serve one of the disadvantaged communities, so it was really great to get this money to help our community.”
Regan said this latest round of WIFIA loans is an example of what should happen if the infrastructure bill before Congress is passed by the House of Representatives.
According to the Senate-approved version of the bill, the EPA is poised to raise $ 50 billion to accelerate progress on “much-needed water infrastructure improvements,” including major service lines and lead pipes, as well as improving drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure throughout America, Regan said.
“The important thing is that we can also create well-paid jobs and support the foundation for the future economic viability of all our communities,” concluded Regan.
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