The Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) assists communities throughout New York State to undertake critical water quality infrastructure projects by providing access to low-cost capital and grants, primarily through the State Revolving Funds. EFC also offers expert technical assistance, such as application review and assistance; legal, engineering, and financial expertise; individual project consultations; and onsite visits.
State Revolving Funds (SRFs) were authorized by Congress to allow states to provide low-cost financial assistance for water quality related infrastructure projects. Each state manages its own revolving funds. As recipients make repayments (of principal plus interest), the principal returns to the revolving fund to be used to make new loans to other recipients. Over time, each fund grows as new financings are made and repayments are returned to the fund.
The SRF financial assistance programs include the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The CWSRF provides financial assistance to communities to fund wastewater projects, and the DWSRF provides financial assistance to communities for public drinking water projects.
EFC financings can provide cost savings in the form of lower interest rates and reduced issuance costs, and administrative ease for borrowers. Additionally, EFC offers technical project assistance that may not be available from other financial institutions.
In general, EFC financial assistance is available to municipalities in New York State for the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects that protect or improve water quality or public health. The most common types of projects are municipally owned wastewater treatment plants and the associated sewer collection system, and public drinking water systems.
Generally, eligible municipalities are any county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, Indian nation or tribe recognized by the State or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, public benefit corporation or public authority established pursuant to the laws of New York or any agency of New York State which is empowered to construct and operate a project, or any two or more of the foregoing which are acting jointly in connection with a project. In addition, a school district is an eligible municipal entity for DWSRF financing only.
The State is required to prepare annual plans identifying the intended uses of the funds in the SRFs and describing how those uses support the goals of the SRFs. To meet that requirement, the State prepares Intended Use Plans (IUP) annually and publishes draft plans for public review and comment. The IUPs are divided into major topics to provide fundamental information to readers about which projects are eligible for SRF financing, how the SRF works, the types of financial assistance available through the SRF, and the sources and uses of each SRF’s funds.
The Multi-Year List identifies all projects for which applicants have expressed an interest in receiving SRF financial assistance. The Annual List is a subset of the Multi-Year List, and includes those projects for which certain information has been submitted to EFC, including an engineering report. Only projects on the Annual List are eligible to receive financial assistance during the current federal fiscal year.
Projects are scored using a project priority score system. In general, CWSRF projects that improve and restore water quality generally receive the highest scores with projects that protect water quality given secondary priority. DWSRF projects that address the most serious risk to public health are given the highest priority, particularly those related to microbiological organisms, followed by situations that pose chronic and longer-term risks to consumers, such as organic chemical contamination. The scoring criteria also consider factors such as population and financial hardship.
There are several different types of financings available to CWSRF and DWSRF applicants. EFC provides both short and long-term financings at zero or low interest to accommodate municipalities of all population sizes with varying financial needs.
EFC has the ability to provide short-term financing to a municipality (typically for a period of three to five years) to finance the estimated costs of the planning, design, and construction of a water or wastewater project. With short-term financing, municipalities are able to draw funds as they incur costs for the project. Long-term financing is available when a project is substantially complete or the municipality has executed all of the major construction contracts and the final costs of the project are known with a reasonable degree of certainty. Long-term financings can be for a period of up to 30 years.
Yes. Recipients that have not yet completed construction on their project may initially close a short-term financing with EFC. Once the project is substantially complete, EFC can convert the short-term financing to a long-term financing.
In general, EFC financing can be used for costs associated with project planning, design, and construction services as long as those costs can reasonably be expected to result in a completed infrastructure improvement project.
Yes. EFC can reimburse for costs already incurred or paid for an engineering report, provided the applicant submits the engineering report, and the engineering services agreement contains certain contractual language.
Yes. EFC may commit financing to a large project in phases or segments over several years. With any phased project, all phases must be defined within one engineering report and the environmental review must address all phases of the project.
Yes. EFC is able to finance projects that may have funding from other sources. These other sources may include (but are not limited to) the United State Department of Agriculture Rural Development (RD), New York State Housing and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Department of State (DOS), and the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC).
The interest rate for particular financings will depend on where the project score is ranked on the IUP Annual List. The Annual List includes a subsidy line and a hardship subsidy line. Generally, projects listed above the subsidy funding lines can qualify for subsidized interested rate financing, and projects above the hardship subsidy lines can qualify for no interest hardship financing, within the current IUP financing period (i.e., current federal fiscal year). Projects below the subsidy lines are not eligible for subsidized financing during the current IUP period, but may receive market rate financing.
Hardship financing is interest free. Subsidized interest rate financing includes a subsidy that offsets part of the interest cost. Market rate financing rates are set at competitive market interest rates.
Interest free financing is offered to communities that are experiencing economic hardship, and eligibility is based on several factors including the size of the community, the Median Household Income (MHI) and the Poverty Rate. More details about the CWSRF Hardship Policy and the DWSRF Hardship Policy can be found on EFC’s website.
The first step to apply for SRF financing is to get your project listed on the Intended Use Plan (IUP). CWSRF listing forms are submitted through EFC’s Project Listing and Update System (PLUS), and DWSRF listing forms are submitted to the New York State Department of Health. EFC accepts new project listings on a continuous basis, but applicants must submit their project information by May 1 to have a project listed in the Draft IUP each year, and by the end of the public comment period for the Draft IUP to have a project listed in the Final IUP. EFC includes projects on the Multi-Year List based on the submission of this initial information. For a project to be included on the Annual List (i.e., eligible to receive funding during the current federal fiscal year), the applicant must also submit an approved engineering report and a Smart Growth Assessment Form.
An engineering report is a document that comprehensively describes a water quality or public health related problem, assesses alternatives for addressing and resolving the problem, including the "no action" alternative. It further recommends a solution, and details the costs and implementation schedule for that solution. Engineering reports are prepared pursuant to an engineering agreement by a professional engineer licensed and registered to practice in New York State. The engineering report must conform to the CWSRF outline or the DWSRF outline available on EFC’s website. EFC will not require previously submitted reports to be rewritten, but an amendment may be required to address all items included in these documents.
EFC offers grants to certain municipalities for the preparation of engineering reports for CWSRF water quality projects through the Engineering Planning Grant (EPG) program. For further information on this program, see the 'Other Grant Programs' section of this FAQ for an overview, or for more detailed information, please visit the EPG Program tab on EFC’s website.
All projects that receive financial assistance from EFC are reviewed to determine if the project was developed in accordance with smart growth criteria. Projects that are consistent with smart growth criteria promote sustainability by strengthening existing and creating new communities which reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do not compromise the needs of future generations. These projects should be built to mitigate future physical climate risk due to sea level rise, storm surges and flooding. The Smart Growth Assessment Form gathers certain information to allow EFC to determine if the project is consistent with smart growth criteria. The form must be submitted when a project is listed, or with the financial assistance application packet.
Once a project is on the Annual List of the IUP, the prospective applicant must submit a complete financial assistance application packet. This includes a completed application form, and all required supporting documents including the engineering report; Smart Growth Assessment form; documentation of required environmental reviews; a New York State Historic Preservation Office review; bond resolution; improvement district documentation (if applicable); and a project budget and plan of finance. EFC recommends that applicants for financial assistance contact EFC as early as possible in the application preparation process to ensure the proper documents are submitted and forms are completed properly.
All applicants for EFC financial assistance are required to assess the environmental impacts of their projects pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Act. SEQR requires that the municipality identify and mitigate any significant environmental impacts of the proposed project. The applicant must submit to EFC: i) documentation stating that the project is a Type II Action and reasons why; ii) a Negative Declaration if the project is determined not to have a significant adverse environmental impact, or iii) a Short or Full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF). Detailed information on SEQR may be found on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website.
Applicants seeking EFC financial assistance also must comply with the applicable requirements of the federal State Environmental Review Process (SERP), which may be more stringent than the requirements under SEQR. To comply with SERP, unless the project is a Type II Action exempt from SEQR, it must be treated as a Type I Action. A Type I Action under SEQR involves preparation of a Full EAF, coordinated review with all other agencies involved with the project and publication of the determination of environmental significance in the Environmental Notice Bulletin, and an Environmental Impact Statement and Statement of Findings, if applicable. An additional requirement of SERP is that each applicant must undertake and complete a New York State Historic Preservation Office review of the project.
Section 14.09 of the New York State Historic Preservation Act requires that all publicly funded projects be reviewed for potential impacts on historical properties and cultural resources. Section 106 of the National Historical Preservation Act of 1966 requires a more stringent review if any federal funding or permits are involved in the project. New York’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), within the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is responsible for ensuring that the effects or impacts of a project on New York’s cultural or historical resources are considered and avoided or mitigated during the project planning process.
Each applicant for financial assistance from EFC is required to consult with SHPO and obtain a letter from SHPO stating that the review is complete and based upon its review, it is SHPO’s opinion that the project will have “No Effect” upon cultural resources in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places; or that SHPO has “No Objection” to the applicant proceeding with the planning of the project, subject to SHPO’s final approval and the applicant’s compliance with any conditions of SHPO’s approval.
All applicants seeking EFC financial assistance are required to adopt a bond resolution. A bond resolution is a resolution of the governing body of a municipality that establishes the municipality’s legal authority to issue debit for a specific project. The form, content, and procedures for adopting a bond resolution are prescribed by New York State Local Finance Law. An applicant seeking EFC financial assistance should consult with a bond counsel for assistance in drafting and adopting a valid bond resolution.
Projects that involve town or county special improvement districts may require Office of State Comptroller (OSC) approval prior to the municipality incurring certain debt. If a sewer or water district must be established or expanded, or the maximum amount to be expended for such district increased, OSC approval must be obtained prior to applying for EFC financing. Please refer to OSC’s website for more information.
The project budget should identify all known and estimated costs that are projected to be incurred during the planning, design, and construction of the project. This includes costs for professional services such as legal counsel, financial advisor services, and other consultants. Actual executed contract or agreement amounts should be used when available. The budget should also include a plan of finance that identifies all sources of money expected to fund the total cost of the project. This includes the estimated amount of EFC financial assistance and any additional sources of moneys which will pay for the project, including all grants and loans from EFC, any third party, and any municipal or other contributions.
Yes. Pursuant to the federal Davis-Bacon and related acts, all laborers and mechanics performing work pursuant to a construction contract or subcontract greater than $2,000 for a DWSRF project or CWSRF treatment works project must be paid wages equal to or greater than the federal prevailing wage rates applicable to the project. In addition, if CWSRF or DWSRF financial assistance is used to fund all or a part of the construction, alteration, maintenance or repair of a public water system or treatment works, the SRF recipient must use certain iron and steel products that are produced in the United States for the whole project (American Iron and Steel).
EFC is committed to promoting participation opportunities for New York State certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) and federal disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs), and equal employment opportunities (EEO) for minority group members and women in the performance of contracts that receive financial assistance through EFC's various programs. As such, EFC requires all contractors and subcontractors working on projects receiving EFC financial assistance to comply with State Executive Law Article 15-A, Title 5 NYCRR Parts 140-145, and Title 40 CFR Part 33, as applicable. EFC also requires all contractors and subcontractors working on projects receiving EFC financial assistance to comply with State and federal non-discriminatory provisions.
EFC has established program-specific MWBE participation goals, ranging from 20-30%. Further information on MWBE/DBE/EEO requirements, including program specific MWBE participation goals can be found here.
EFC is committed to promoting participation opportunities for New York State certified service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises (SDVOBs) in the performance of contracts that receive New York State financial assistance through EFC’s various programs. As such, EFC requires all contractors and subcontractors working on projects receiving State financial assistance to comply with State Executive Law Article 17-B and 9 NYCRR Part 252. EFC further encourages all contractors and subcontractors working on projects receiving federal financial assistance to utilize SDVOBs on their contracts/subcontracts. In order to encourage and support certified SDVOBs to play a greater role in the State’s economy by increasing their participation in the State’s contracting opportunities, EFC has established a 6% SDVOB participation goal.
The New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2017 (WIIA) grant program provides at least $1 billion in competitive grants to assist municipalities in funding water quality infrastructure. WIIA grants are available for both drinking water and clean water projects that protect or improve water quality and/or protect public health.
The New York State Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grant (IMG) program provides at least $150 million in competitive grants to assist municipalities in support of intermunicipal water quality infrastructure projects. IMG grants are available for both drinking water and clean water projects that serve multiple municipalities; for example, a shared water quality infrastructure project or the interconnection of multiple municipal water quality infrastructure projects.
WIIA and IMG grants are available only to the following municipal entities: county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, school district, Indian nation or tribe recognized by the State or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State, any public benefit corporation or public authority established pursuant to the laws of New York, or any agency of the State that is empowered to construct and operate a water quality infrastructure project. While school districts are eligible for WIIA and IMG grants and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) financial assistance, they are not eligible for Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) financial assistance.
Authorities must list the specific municipalities served by the project.
If the municipality returned their reply form at the end of the last round (2018) indicating they were still interested in consideration for grant, their application was automatically carried over for consideration in this round. If the applicant received a letter indicating that it was missing components of a complete application, they must submit those items by this year's due date (September 13th, 2019). Regardless of whether the application was complete or incomplete, it is recommended to submit an updated application form in order to provide EFC with the latest project information.
Yes. Municipalities may submit applications for multiple projects, including both clean and drinking water projects.
No. Municipalities are not required to submit an engineering agreement at the time of their WIIA and/or IMG grant application. However, if an engineering agreement exists, please submit it with the application as a sign of readiness to advance to construction with the project.
Yes. WIIA and IMG grants can be used for project planning and design costs as long as those costs result in a completed water infrastructure improvement project. Please note that all contracts entered into that are to be paid for with WIIA funds, IMG funds, or SRF financial assistance must demonstrate compliance with EFC's program requirements and must include the required contractual language from the applicable EFC bid packet. Any contracts, including those executed prior to grant application, that do not include the required contractual language will be disqualified from funding.
No. The applicant must obtain a letter from SHPO indicating that the project will have no effect upon cultural resources in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places. Under some circumstances, SHPO may issue a conditional letter allowing the project to proceed with design, but no construction activities, which is acceptable for purposes of application.
Applicants seeking both SRF financial assistance and grant must complete a Full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and coordinated review if the project is determined to be Type I or Unlisted action. If the municipality is seeking grant without SRF financial assistance, a Short Form EAF, with or without a coordinated review, is acceptable for Unlisted Actions. See application instructions for more detail.
If debt will finance any portion of the project, a bond resolution must be adopted establishing the applicant's legal authority to issue debt for the project, as well as establishing a plan of finance for the total cost of the project. If no debt is being used to finance any portion of the project, a board resolution is necessary that authorizes the undertaking of the project and the obligation of funds for the project. If the applicant is issuing debt for the project and has adopted a bond resolution, a separate board resolution may not be necessary. Please consult with your local counsel to assist in determining what resolution(s) are required for your particular project.
"Sewage treatment works" is defined as a "facility for the purpose of treating, neutralizing or stabilizing sewage, including treatment or disposal plants, the necessary intercepting, outfall and outlet sewers, pumping station integral to such plants or sewers, equipment and furnishings thereof and their appurtenances".
No. While stormwater projects are not eligible, projects that include both a sanitary and stormwater component may be eligible (e.g., stormwater/sanitary sewer separation, or Combined Sewer Overflow projects).
No. Work related to dams, spillways or reservoirs is not eligible.
Yes. All construction contracts and non-construction contracts executed prior to applying for EFC funding must include the required contractual language from the applicable EFC bid packet. Any contracts which do not include and cannot reasonably be amended to include the required contractual language will not be eligible for EFC grant funding or SRF financial assistance.
Yes. See answer to Question 21.
Yes. You do not need to be listed on the IUP to apply for a WIIA or IMG grant and are not required to obtain SRF financing if you are awarded a grant. However, upon receipt of your grant application, if your project is eligible to be considered for a grant, it will be listed on the CWSRF or DWSRF IUP, as applicable.
For projects awarded a WIIA grant, subsidized or interest-free financial assistance may be available if the project scores above the 2019 IUP subsidy line or hardship line. Market-rate financing may be available to projects that are not eligible for subsidized or interest-free financing.
For projects awarded an IMG grant, only market-rate financing would be available for the balance of the project costs not covered by the grant regardless of the project score.
Yes. However, if you are awarded a WIIA or IMG grant, you should consult the other funding agency to see if the WIIA/IMG grant award may have an impact on the funding it has provided to the project. See also answer to Question 24.
Grant awards are calculated based on the "net total eligible project costs" which means the total project costs less any awarded grants from other funding sources and any ineligible costs. Grant funds from another funding agency will impact the net project costs on which WIIA and IMG grant award amounts are calculated. If you are awarded a WIIA or IMG grant, and subsequently receive another grant for the same project, your WIIA or IMG grant would be recalculated to factor in any new co-funding (e.g. WQIP, CDBG). Loan financing from another funding agency would not affect the award amount of a WIIA or IMG grant.
The MWBE requirements apply to any contracts for which EFC provides financial assistance, whether through grant or SRF financing. If EFC provides a combination of SRF financing and WIIA or IMG grants for the entire project, the MWBE goals are applied, as applicable to all contracts for the entire project. If EFC provides a WIIA or IMG grant, and the remainder of the project cost is not financed with an SRF loan, the MWBE goal will be applied only to the portion of the project costs paid for by the grant funds.
All contracts entered into by recipients that are to be paid for with WIIA funds, IMG funds, or SRF financial assistance must demonstrate compliance with EFC's program requirements for the full contract value, and must include the required contractual language from the applicable EFC bid packet. The full value of any contracts that do not include the required contractual language, including those executed prior to grant application, will be disqualified from funding.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB). The goal of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act is to encourage and support eligible SDVOBs to play a greater role in New York State's economy by increasing their participation in the State's contracting opportunities. There is a 6% SDVOB participation goal for projects awarded a WIIA or IMG grant tat are not seeking SRF financing. For projects being funded with both WIIA or IMG grant and SRF financing, SDVOB participation is encouraged.
Please make sure that you have read the grant overview and program summary information, as well as the grant application and application instructions carefully to ensure that your community submits a complete application. If you have questions after reading this information, please call EFC as soon as possible so staff may assist you in submitting a complete application by the application deadline. Due to the large volume of applications received for these grant programs, it is not possible for EFC to contact all applicants that submit incomplete applications.
Additional FAQs on EFC's programs may be found here.
EFC’s Community Assistance Program (CAP) unit helps communities throughout the State navigate the various requirements needed to plan and design water quality infrastructure projects. The goal of CAP is to provide direct, one-on-one technical assistance to ensure that projects are able to move forward effectively at no additional cost to the community. The program can help community leaders understand application requirements and the types of financial assistance available. CAP staff are able to assist with the various regulatory and permitting efforts necessary for projects and environmental reviews, as well as serve as a point of contact to answer any questions the community may have during project development. Staff are located in offices in various areas of the State.
For more information, please contact:
Clean Water SRF
SRF Program Services Coordinator
Environmental Facilities Corporation
Drinking Water SRF
David Phillips, P.E.
Chief, Design Section
Bureau of Water Supply Protection
NYS Department of Health
(518) 402-7650 or 1-800-458-1158