Varies; contact the state agency in charge of administering the program.
Municipalities, communities of all sizes, small businesses and non-profit organizations. Since the program is managed largely by the states, project eligibility varies according to each state’s program and priorities; therefore, interested parties should contact the state agency that administers the CWSRF program.
The CWSRF program is available to fund a wide variety of water quality projects including non-point source and watershed protection or restoration, as well as more traditional municipal wastewater treatment projects. Through the CWSRF program, each state and Puerto Rico maintain revolving loan funds to provide independent and permanent sources of low cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects. In 2009, 77 percent of all loans (23 percent of funding) were made to communities with populations less than 10,000.
CWSRF funds might be particularly useful for station renovation projects that involve the reconstruction or construction of a large parking lot. By incorporating “green” features such as bioswales and permeable pavements, “green” parking lots can be made to effectively filter and cleanse stormwater through natural processes before it seeps into the water table or is discharged into a more conventional stormwater system. This is particularly beneficial in areas where non-point source pollution is an issue. Non-point source pollution does not originate at one location, such as a contaminated sewage outlet, but instead originates at many points. Pollutants are generally picked up by runoff that moves over the ground, concentrating them into a potent mix that can harm watersheds.
Areas containing or adjacent to endangered watersheds would be highly eligible for CWSRF funds, and the EPA is still looking to fund pilot “green” projects. “Green” infrastructure benefits the environment and is often cheaper than more conventional stormwater systems. If retrofitting existing infrastructure such as a parking lot, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant features, such as ramps, could be integrated into the design. Green roofs or greywater recycling systems might also qualify for CWSRF funds.
For example, Seattle Public Utilities used a 20 year, 1.5 percent CWSRF loan of $2,715,000 to install innovative natural drainage elements, such as bioswales, compost-amended soil reservoirs and porous pavement in a new neighborhood development. These green infrastructure additions have been designed to improve stormwater management in the 303(d) listed Longfellow Creek Watershed, an important watershed for spawning salmon. The development project has been designed to provide significant benefits to water quality, wet weather flow reduction, habitat protection and public outreach and education. Click here for more examples.
Funds to establish or capitalize the CWSRF programs are provided through federal government grants and state matching funds (equal to 20 percent of federal government grants). CWSRF monies are loaned to communities and loan repayments are recycled back into the program to fund additional water quality projects.
CWSRF loans can have interest rates as low as 0 percent, and cover up to 100 percent of a project’s costs. Loans are usually paid off over 20 years or the useful life of the project – which ever is less – with repayment commencing within one year of project completion.