King County, Washington, the county in which Seattle resides, has received a $134.5M Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to help finance infrastructure upgrades that will be for the betterment of public health and water quality.
The loan, which is the first-ever from the WIFIA and issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will help finance King County’s Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station, a $262 million facility that will treat up to 70 million gallons of polluted runoff a day that currently overflows untreated into the Duwamish River during severe rainstorms. It then drains into Puget Sound. Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station is due to be complete in 2022.
With the $262M price tag on the treatment station, the EPA’s WIFIA loan will help finance more than half that at $134.5M. The project is expected to create an estimated 1,400 jobs and will provide education, job training, and apprenticeship opportunities during its design, construction, and operation through King County’s Priority Hire program and partnership with South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus.
EPA’s WIFIA program supports the President’s commitment to rebuilding the country’s aging water infrastructure. Using funding provided in 2017, WIFIA’s 2017 loans will finance approximately $2B in infrastructure costs, including the loan to King County. On April 4, 2018, EPA announced the availability of additional WIFIA funding that could provide as much as $5.5B in loans, which could leverage more than $11B in water infrastructure projects.
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