Friday, February 17, 2012

Loans available for clean water infrastructure improvements

Local governments in North Carolina have until March 1 to apply with the state for the latest round of low-interest loans intended to pay for improvements to wastewater treatment plants and other environmentally beneficial projects.
The N.C. Division of Water Quality makes low-interest loans available twice a year through its Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The loans help local municipalities and counties pay for such things as wetland and stream restoration, stormwater management, and improvements to publicly-owned infrastructure such as wastewater treatment plants and sewer collection systems.
The deadline for applications each year is March 1 and Sept. 1. The state agency reports that at least $100 million is available for projects during the current round. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which is administered by the N.C. Division of Water Quality, is made up of funds from the federal government and a 17 percent state match.
The clean water fund also provides opportunities for municipalities and other government units to receive a special zero-percent interest rate on green projects such as stormwater management structures and systems that capture and reuse rainwater. In addition, certain small government units may be eligible for forgiveness of half of the principal of the loan.
The awards for the current round of funding will be announced around the end of March.
Local governments who wish to apply for loans through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund should review application and guidance information on the Division of Water Quality’s website.

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