Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $186 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to support its Wastewater Compliance and Sustainability Project. With this WIFIA loan, EPA is helping the City of Chattanooga improve its wastewater system’s energy efficiency and resilience to extreme weather while saving ratepayers millions of dollars.
“As Chattanooga continues to grow in population, it’s more urgent than ever to provide effective wastewater services to protect this burgeoning community,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “At the same time, I’m excited EPA can partner with Chattanooga to create 3,000 jobs in construction and operation locally.”
The Wastewater Compliance and Sustainability Project will modernize the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant, which serves customers throughout the City of Chattanooga and adjacent communities in Hamilton County, Tennessee, and Walker County and Catoosa County, Georgia. The City of Chattanooga will improve storage and treatment capacity at the plant to provide resiliency during extreme weather events and support compliance with its consent decree
"Chattanooga's outdoor resources are our greatest competitive advantage, and innovative funding solutions are critical to ensuring we have the resources needed to preserve them for future generations," said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. "That's why I'm incredibly grateful for EPA's partnership on these low-interest loans, which will allow us to future-proof our sewer system and better protect our beloved waterways, all while maintaining low rates for Chattanooga residents."
The City of Chattanooga is helping keep rates affordable by taking advantage of the WIFIA program’s flexibility to defer principal repayment until 2032, six years after construction completion. By financing with a WIFIA loan, the City of Chattanooga will save approximately $48 million. Construction and operation are estimated to create approximately 3,0000 jobs.