Baltimore Gets Chance at $200 Million Loan for Water Infrastructure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has chosen the Baltimore City Department of Public Works and 11 other projects nationwide, to apply for more than $2 billion that is available to improve water infrastructure.

 The loan will help improve Baltimore's sewage and water treatment systems. Photo: Blue Water Baltimore

The loan will help improve Baltimore's sewage and water treatment systems. Photo: Blue Water Baltimore

The loans come as part of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. Baltimore was among the 12 projects selected out of 43 that submitted letters to interested to the EPA back in April.

When it is awarded, Baltimore City can use the money to repair and upgrade its wastewater collection, water distribution, and stormwater management systems. That would improve the city's sanitary sewer collection, drinking water distribution, pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. It would also help the city meet Clean Water Act requirements for stormwater management.

 “These large-scale projects will improve water quality for 20 million Americans, especially those communities that need it the most—such as rural and urban communities,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, of the 12 projects selected to apply from nine states.

“Maryland appreciates EPA’s support for clean and affordable water infrastructure in Baltimore,” said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “Innovative financing and strong partnerships will help us in our continued efforts to restore and protect our most precious natural asset, the Chesapeake Bay.”

The EPA's invitation for Baltimore to apply for the loan means agency believes the city will be able to get it. But the invitation is not a guarantee. The Department of Public Works must still submit an application, negotiate terms, and prove credit-worthy, to receive the funding.

For more information on all the WIFIA projects, click here.

Megan Viviano