EPA GIVES $70 MILLION LOAN TO OMAHA, NEB., FOR WATER INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES
Omaha has been issued $69.7 million to finance its Saddle Creek Retention Treatment Basin
The U.S. EPA has awarded the city of Omaha, Neb., with a $69.7 million loan in order to aid in financing the city’s Saddle Creek Retention Treatment Basin. This is the second loan issued under the agency’s Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.
As it exists currently, Omaha’s Saddle Creek Basin overflows when inundated with wet weather events, causing significant overflows of millions of gallons of runoff rife with pollutants. These overflows spill into a tributary of the Missouri River, Little Papillion Creek.
“Through EPA’s WIFIA loan to Omaha, we are investing in the Heartland’s water infrastructure and following through on our commitment to uphold one of EPA’s core responsibilities: providing Americans with clean and safe water,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This water infrastructure project will produce good jobs, improve local water quality and better protect the health of more than 400,000 Nebraskans.”
Construction of the Saddle Creek Combined Sewer Overflow Retention Treatment Basin is expected to be complete some time in the year 2022. Upon completion, the basin will be able to collect and treat up to 320 million gal of wastewater and storm water daily. Such a figure means the city will be able to reduce local water pollution by as much as 90%.
The construction cost of the project is estimated from $93 to $103 million, while the total price tag is thought to be approximately $142.2 million. EPA’s WIFIA program will cover roughly half of this total bill.
EPA announced an extra $5.5 billion of available WIFIA funding in April 2018, and this new announcement is a direct result of the new influx of funds.