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Wastewater projects gain funding

OCEANSIDE — The city of Oceanside was invited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to apply for two separate Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans.  Oceanside submitted letters of interest in early summer 2019 for the Pure Water Oceanside and Lower Recycled Water Distribution System Expansion Project as well as the Buccaneer Sewer Lift Station and Force Main Project. Oceanside’s letters of interest were among 51 others received by the EPA from both public and private entities in response to its 2019 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability. The WIFIA Selection Committee chose both projects submitted by the city of Oceanside.

The critical funding not only helps to pay for Oceanside’s local water supply development projects, it also funds a critical infrastructure repair and replacement project on our coastline. The Project will reduce the quantity of wastewater discharged to the ocean, in turn creating a healthier local marine environment that benefits water-based recreational activities. This funding in particular is made available at a lower interest rate than municipal bonds, saving ratepayer dollars.

Combined, the Pure Water Oceanside and the recycled projects will add approximately 10 percent to the current water supply portfolio and bring the community closer to the City Council’s goal of 50 percent local water supplies by 2030.  Reservations for Experience Pure Water Oceanside Tours are available on the City’s Water Utilities at ci.oceanside.ca.us. For more information about the WIFIA program, visit epa.gov/wifia.

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.