For Immediate Release - May 06, 2013

Commonwealth Delivers Grants for 20 Municipal Water Projects

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust (MWPAT) today announced the approval of more than $6 million in need-based principal forgiveness grants on 20 water infrastructure loans from across the state.

“This money will deliver relief to communities struggling to finance key water projects that provide for the health and well-being of their citizens,” said Treasurer Steven Grossman, who serves as the Chairman of the MWPAT.  “This funding frees-up additional capital to go to other important local priorities, such as transportation infrastructure, education, and public safety.”

The 20 grants, administered by the state and funded by the federal government, were awarded on a competitive basis to cities and towns most in need of financial assistance associated with loan payments to the MWPAT.  Because of the reduction of loan principal funded by the grants, impacted communities will see their bi-annual loan payments reduced, freeing up capital for other local needs.  The loans were originated to pay for municipal water projects such as upgrades to water treatment facilities and storm water and sewer improvement projects.

“As Governor Patrick has so clearly pointed out, the Commonwealth has a significant and expensive backlog of water infrastructure projects to address in order to fully protect the environment and the public health,” said Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, who serves on the MWPAT board. “I am pleased to join our Trust partners to provide this assistance to these communities to make their projects more affordable.”

The $6 million in loan forgiveness is associated with a total original loan amount of $98 million, an overall principal reduction of 6 percent.  

“As the Executive Director of the Trust I am excited to announce six million dollars in principal forgiveness to these communities that have shown a strong commitment to improving their water infrastructure,” said Sue Perez, Executive Director of the MWPAT. “This award represents our third year providing principal forgiveness, and, to date we have awarded roughly $33 million in principal forgiveness under this program.”

The MWPAT lends financial assistance to the Commonwealth under the State Revolving Fund program by providing subsidized loans to cities and towns for clean water and drinking water infrastructure development.  Since its establishment in 1989, the Trust has loaned approximately $6 billion to improve and maintain the quality of water in the Commonwealth.  An estimated 97 percent of Massachusetts’ citizens have benefited from the MWPAT’s financial assistance.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.