LA gets $224 million loan from EPA to finance water recycling project

This will help purify 15.5 million gallons of the city's wastewater every day to replenish San Fernando Basin's aquifers.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Los Angeles sanitation officials received a $224 million loan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help finance a project to purify wastewater and replenish the San Fernando Basin amid a historic drought, officials said today.

The loan, part of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, will help fund the city's Donald C. Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility, which will purify 15.5 million gallons of the city's wastewater every day to replenish the San Fernando Basin and its aquifers.

Officials say the facility will make Los Angeles' wastewater into a sustainable water source and increase its resiliency to drought.

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"This mega-drought in the west is a forceful and persistent reminder that bold action is needed to protect our communities and address the climate crisis,'' said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox.

"We see water infrastructure projects -- like the Donald C. Tillman Advanced Water Purification Facility -- as central to climate resiliency and we commend our state and local partners for this project.''

The total cost of the project is $458 million, and the remaining cost is funded by revenue bonds and borrower cash, but the WIFIA loan is expected to save Los Angeles about $81 million in interest.

"At a time when imported water supplies have grown scarce and we're facing a statewide drought emergency, it is critically important that we increase our local water resilience,'' Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "Through investments in the Advanced Water Purification Facility and our Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, water credit programs like EPA's WIFIA and the State Revolving Fund are helping to secure a sustainable water future for Los Angeles.''

The project is expected to be complete in 2027 and to create about 1,400 jobs.

"As we reconcile our 20th century infrastructure with the realities of a 21st century climate, this project is an investment in the resiliency and innovation that has and will continue to fuel Los Angeles' future,'' said E. Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Board.

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