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Expand Disadvantaged Communities’ Access to State Revolving Funds

Year Awarded: 2022
Awarded: $1,650,000
Team Leader:  Environmental Policy Innovation Center

This team will launch a predevelopment loan fund that supports disadvantaged communities that typically don’t apply to their state’s clean water revolving fund (SRF) because the process is complex and requires upfront investments in planning and design. Sharply increased funding to SRFs from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) makes money available to these communities to improve their water systems. However, communities with fewer financial resources are unable to pay for the technical assistance needed to create applications for SRF programs and may not be able to access these funds.

This project, led by the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC), will identify and engage disadvantaged communities and provide them with loans to pay for the required technical assistance support. These loans will be repaid from the SRF grant or loan. The team expects to make 20 to 30 loans from the fund’s initial capitalization, delivering up to $100 million in SRF support to needy communities. The program’s success will attract additional capital and support its expansion to all Great Lakes states.

This project will improve stormwater management and wastewater treatment, reduce combined sewer overflows, and expand the deployment of nature-based green infrastructure.