Shearman & Sterling represented the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in connection with the extension of a US$202 million secured loan to the City of Baltimore for its Comprehensive Wastewater Infrastructure Repair, Rehabilitation and Replacement Program. The loan, issued under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, will fund approximately 21 percent of the total project costs for 14 projects, including a series of repairs and upgrades to the City’s wastewater conveyance system, Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant and stormwater management system. In addition to improving the performance of the city’s wastewater infrastructure, these projects are expected to significantly limit the sanitary sewer overflows that affect Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and support investments that have been made toward restoring the Chesapeake Bay.
The loan to the City of Baltimore was the seventh and final WIFIA loan closed by USEPA in its first year of funding projects under the program. Shearman & Sterling served as counsel to USEPA for three projects in the initial round, including USEPA’s first-ever loan under the program to King County, Washington for $134.5 million and its $614 million loan to the City of San Diego for the first phase of its Pure Water San Diego water recycling program. A second set of 39 projects has been invited to apply for approximately $5 billion in WIFIA loans to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments nationally.