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News Release
Large Diameter Pipe
Large Diameter Pipe
Tualatin Valley Water District, City of Hillsboro, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Celebrate Closing on Two Federal WIFIA Loans for Joint Project (Photo) - 10/04/19

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans - one to the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD), and the other to the City of Hillsboro - marking the first time that WIFIA has provided financing for two individual borrowers partnering on a joint project. 

TVWD and City of Hillsboro are holding a loan closing celebration on Wednesday, October 9, at 10 a.m. at 19293 SW Tile Flat Road, Beaverton, Oregon. Speakers will include U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley; Chris Hladick, Region 10 Administrator for the EPA; Bernice Bagnall, TVWD Board President; and Steve Callaway, Mayor of Hillsboro.

The WIFIA loans will provide approximately $388 million for TVWD and $251 million for City of Hillsboro, respectively, to invest in the Willamette Water Supply System (WWSS), an additional and seismically resilient water supply. Currently under construction, the WWSS includes intake facilities, over 30 miles of pipes, a water treatment plant, and two storage reservoirs. The system will deliver fresh, high-quality treated water from the Willamette River to 400,000 Washington County residents and businesses, and is being built to the highest seismic safety standard to recover quickly after a major earthquake. The investments in the system will provide reliable, quality drinking water for generations to come.

In addition to meeting the region’s water needs, the construction of the program is providing fuel for the local economy. The EPA estimates the program will create 4,168 jobs through substantial completion in 2026. To date, 95 percent of all WWSS expenditures, over $117.5 million, have been spent in the local economy.

"The WWSS is a critical regional water project that will save Washington County residents money and help ensure that residents have access to clean, safe, and reliable water for generations to come - while also creating thousands of jobs in the process," said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. "I created the WIFIA program to invest in water infrastructure projects and job creation after hearing from Oregonians that water infrastructure is one of the top issues facing their communities. This program continues to be a great model for delivering results through local and federal collaboration without the need for additional tax dollars."

The WIFIA program was created by Congress in 2014 with the leadership of Senators Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, and Peter DeFazio to accelerate investments in the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure by using a competitive process to provide low-cost supplemental credit assistance to creditworthy water and wastewater projects of national and regional significance. The WWSS was one of 39 projects selected from 62 letters of interest received in the 2018 round.

TVWD, the City of Hillsboro and the City of Beaverton are partnering to build the Willamette Water Supply System. The current project cost is forecast at $1.3 billion, and is Oregon’s largest locally funded infrastructure project. The WIFIA loans will fund almost half the costs and will save TVWD ratepayers an estimated $138.4 million and City of Hillsboro ratepayers an estimated $125.2 million compared to typical bond financing.

Learn more about the steps being taken now to ensure our communities have adequate water supply to meet future demand and provide greater reliability, visit www.OurReliableWater.org.

Attached Media Files: Large Diameter Pipe
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