Shearman & Sterling represented the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in connection with the extension of secured Water infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans in San Bernardino County, California and upstate New York for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
The proceeds of an approximately $196 million WIFIA loan, announced on May 27, will be used by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency to expand a key California water recycling plant with the construction of a new solids handling facility and expansion of liquids treatment capacity to over 22 million gallons per day. Total project costs are projected to be approximately $450 million. The California State Water Board’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund will also provide funding to support the project.
USEPA’s WIFIA loan to the City of Cortland for the Clinton Avenue Gateway Project, announced on May 11, is the first WIFIA loan in the State of New York. The loan will enable the replacement of aged water mains, sanitary sewers and storm drainage, provide proper water and sewer main separation, reduce treatment costs for water and wastewater and improve public health. Similar to New York bond financings, the loan includes a general obligation pledge secured by the City’s faith and credit, a first for the WIFIA program. Total project costs are projected to be approximately $38 million. Additional funding to support the project will be provided by the New York Clean Water State Revolving Fund and, in another first for the program, the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.