Shearman & Sterling represented the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in connection with the extension of a $134.5 million secured loan to King County, Washington for the development and financing of the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station in Seattle. Once constructed, the new facility will collect and treat up to 70 million gallons per day of combined wastewater and storm water that would otherwise flow into the Duwamish River during heavy rains, protecting aquatic life and public health. Substantial completion for the approximately $275 million project is expected to be achieved by the end of 2022.
The loan is the first ever to reach financial close under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, which accelerates investment in water infrastructure across the United States by providing long-term, low-cost loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA estimates that more than $743 billion in investment is needed nationwide for water infrastructure improvements. Following the success of King County, Congress’s initial allocation to the program in 2017 is expected to assist as many as 11 other projects across eight states to finance nearly $5 billion in investment. EPA recently announced the availability of additional funding based on 2018 appropriations that could provide as much as $5.5 billion in loans to leverage more than $11 billion in water infrastructure projects.
The Shearman & Sterling team below was supported by associate Camilla Ihenetu (New York-Corporate).