EPA announces $10 million WIFIA loan to Memphis

Completion of the decade-long Memphis assessment and rehabilitation program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $10 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Memphis, Tennessee. EPA said the loan will support critical stormwater infrastructure updates to improve the city’s resiliency to storms.

The City of Memphis’ Stormwater Upgrades Project will modernize portions of the aged stormwater management system throughout the city. Memphis and the surrounding region have a history of significant flooding in economically stressed areas, which increased because of climate change. This project will improve the city’s resilience to future storms and protect homes and businesses. With this WIFIA loan, the City of Memphis will complete 13 projects, including planning, design, and construction for the rehabilitation of pipes, culverts, drains, drainage ditches, and detention basins.

“The City of Memphis will utilize the WIFIA loan to support our stormwater master planning efforts and help finance multiple capital improvement projects,” said City of Memphis Public Works Director Robert Knecht. “The goal of the Stormwater Master Plan is to analyze all 37 major drainage basins, giving highest priority to those with the most sensitive drainage issues. We will then use innovative solutions to proactively reduce the risk of residential and business flooding, as well as to enhance the appeal and accessibility of waterways as public amenities.”

Since 2018, EPA’s WIFIA program has announced $20 billion in financing to support over $43 billion in water infrastructure projects that are strengthening drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure while creating over 140,000 jobs.

“Climate stress is often felt as water stress, especially when it comes to storms and floods,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott. “With this $10 million loan from EPA, Memphis will invest in more resilient water infrastructure and protect vulnerable neighborhoods.”

In addition to this WIFIA loan, which will save the city $2 million, EPA is committing $50 million in total WIFIA assistance to the city to implement other aspects of its Stormwater Upgrades Project. Project construction and operation will create about 70 jobs.

Learn more about EPA’s WIFIA Program and water infrastructure investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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