Clean Water State Revolving Fund

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Overview

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund provides interest-free or low-interest rate financing for wastewater and water quality improvement projects to municipalities throughout New York State. A variety of point source, non-point source, and national estuary projects are eligible for financing, including construction or restoration of sewers and wastewater treatment facilities, stormwater management, landfill closures, as well as habitat restoration and protection projects. 

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) annually provides a grant to the state to capitalize the CWSRF program. EFC uses this federal money, along with the required State match funds equal to 20% to fund projects for the purpose of preserving, protecting, or improving water quality. As borrowers repay their loans, repayments of principal and interest earnings are recycled back into the CWSRF program to finance new projects and allow the funds to "revolve" over time.

Since the inception of the CWSRF program in 1990, EFC, in conjunction with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, has provided more than $28.5 billion in low-cost financing.

There are several different types of financings available to CWSRF 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. 

Eligibility

To receive funding under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) the applicant and the project must be eligible.

  • Municipalities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible applicants for qualified land acquisition projects. Municipalities include any county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, Indian reservation wholly within New York State, any 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.Municipalities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible applicants for qualified land acquisition project.
  • Non-municipal entities may apply for financing eligible non-point source projects, except for land acquisition projects for water quality protection, which only not-for-profit organizations may apply.
  • Eligible non-point source projects non-municipal applicants may apply for include, but are not limited to, brownfield remediation, landfill leachate collection, storage and treatment, landfill gas collection, landfill capping, stormwater management, waterbody restoration, and failing decentralized septic systems. 
  • Traditional water quality projects whose primary purpose is water protection are eligible for financing for the entire cost of the project. For example, wastewater treatment facilities are traditional water quality projects and are eligible in their entirety. 
  • "Non-traditional" projects, with a primary purpose other than water quality, may be partially eligible for financing for the portion of the project that is clearly related to the preservation, improvement, or protection of water quality. 
  • Point source projects, such as wastewater treatment plants and sewers.
  • Land acquisition, for the purpose of protecting water quality, may be a non-point source project or a national estuary protection project.

Please Note: Assistance may only be provided for projects that are consistent with applicable area-wide water quality plans.

  • Water supply treatment distribution system projects, except for the wastewater and waste solids components of these systems.
  • Municipal solid waste projects, except for the water quality components of these projects.
  • The legal, administrative, and engineering expense of defending against a state or federal enforcement action.
  • Routine operation and maintenance (O&M) costs of wastewater treatment facilities or general O&M costs that are outside the scope of a capital project. 
Financing

EFC offers short-term financing for a period of up to five years to provide recipients with funding to design and initiate construction on SRF eligible projects.  There are no fees associated with Clean Water short term financing and interest accrues only on balances drawn. Short-term financings can be used to pre-finance costs that will be reimbursed from proceeds from other sources of fund. However, only market rate financing can be used to pre-fund any awarded grants.

 Types of short-term financings available from EFC include:

  • Hardship Financing: Clean Water applicants that qualify for hardship financing may receive a short-term interest-free financing for 100% of SRF eligible project costs or IUP listing amount, whichever is less. For information on EFC's hardship policy, including eligibility criteria and limitations, click here. Information regarding the Median Household Income (MHI) and Family Poverty Rate used by EFC in determining eligibility for Hardship Grant can be found here.
     
  • Subsidized Financing: Clean Water applicants that do not qualify for hardship, but have a project on the annual list with a score above the subsidy line, may receive a short-term subsidized financing, consisting of an interest-free financing for 50% of the SRF eligible project costs or IUP listing amount, whichever is less, and a short-term market-rate financing for the remaining 50% of SRF eligible project costs. 
     
  • Market-Rate Financing: Clean Water applicants that do not qualify for hardship or subsidized financing may receive a low-cost short-term market-rate for 100% of SRF eligible project costs or IUP listing amount, whichever is less. The interest rate on short-term market rate financings is set based on the MMD AAA Market Rate 1-year rate plus EFC cost of funds. 

EFC offers long-term financing to recipients for SRF eligible projects. Long-term financing are generally available for terms of up to 30 years. 

Types of long-term financing available from EFC include:

  • Hardship Financing: Clean Water applicants that qualify for hardship financing may receive a long-term interest-free financing for 100% of SRF eligible project costs or IUP listing amount, whichever is less. For information on EFC's hardship policy, including eligibility criteria and limitations, click here.
     
  • Long-Term Subsidized Financing: Clean Water applicants that do not qualify for hardship, but have a project listed on the annual list with a score above the subsidy line may qualify for a long-term subsidized financing. These financings are at AAA/aaa borrowing rates, with a 50% subsidized interest rate. There is a State Bond Issuance Charge, Direct Expense, and a 0.25% Annual Administrative Fee for these financings. The 0.25% Annual Administrative Fee is calculated on the outstanding balance. 
     
  • Long-Term Market-Rate Financing: Long-Term Market-Rate financings may be available to support eligible projects that are listed on the annual list with a score below the subsidy line. Projects closed with a Long-Term Market-Rate financing will remain eligible for subsidized funding for up to 5 years from the long-term closing date, and these projects will remain on the Annual Project Priority List during this period. Long-Term Market-Rate financings include a direct expense and the State Bond Issuance Charge.
Requirements

EFC is committed to promoting participation opportunities for New York State ("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 EFC contracts as well as contracts that receive financial assistance through EFC's various programs.

More About MWBE/DBE/EEO

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act is to encourage and support eligible SDVOBs to play a greater role in the state's economy by increasing their participation in New York State's contracting opportunities. 

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The utilization of iron and steel products that are produced in the United States is required for construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of public water systems or treatment works funded wholly or in part by SRF financial assistance. 

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Requirements regarding prevailing wages, hours of work, and rates of pay are required for construction contracts in excess of $2,000 and is funded wholly or in part by SRF financial assistance. 

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