The Environmental Protection Agency has broken new ground in the latest loans it cleared under its Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or WIFIA, program. The agency on Aug. 19 announced it had approved two loans totaling $640 million for a $1.3-billion upgrade for water infrastructure in northern Oregon. It marks the first time EPA has issued loans to multiple borrowers for the same project.
A $388-million WIFIA loan is going to the Tualatin Valley Water District and a $251-million loan to the city of Hillsboro, Ore., which have teamed up on the project. Andrea Watson, spokesperson for the water district, says its loan closed on Aug. 2 and the Hillsboro loan closed on Aug. 16. The city of Beaverton, Ore., on July 1 signed on as a third partner in the project but isn’t involved in the loans.