NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued the following statement celebrating the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans’ (SWBNO) selection for a $111 million federal water infrastructure loan to fund the full rehabilitation of New Orleans’ sanitary sewer system:
“Being selected by the WIFIA program and the EPA for this $111 million federal loan is a major win for Sewerage & Water Board and for the City of New Orleans,” said Mayor Cantrell. “This is the result of hard work and dedication. We fought hard and lobbied the federal government extensively for this. I want to thank New Orleans City Councilmember Jay H. Banks for all of his help and his voice, advocating for this. Infrastructure remains a top priority, and this puts us another step closer to addressing our critical needs.”
Under the Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chose SWBNO to take part in its program, an effort that could yield up to $111 million to help the utility make its 2025 federal deadline to completely restore the sewer system. The EPA announced the award Tuesday, Oct. 22.
SWBNO competed with dozens of public and private entities to be among the 38 projects selected to receive a collective $6 billion in federal water infrastructure investments. It is the first utility in Louisiana to win WIFIA’s annual contest.
SWBNO and the EPA will soon negotiate the technical terms of the loan arrangement with the goal of releasing the first funding in mid-2020.