The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (CWRLF) published its Intended Use Plan on January 22, 2013. This funding program, administered by the DEQ, provides low interest loans and possibly principal forgiveness. Eligible entities include cities, counties, federally recognized tribes, sanitary or service districts, various special districts, soil and water conservation districts, and irrigation districts. Eligible projects include wastewater system planning, wastewater system improvements design and construction, irrigation and stormwater improvements, and non-point source projects (i.e., stream restorations, animal waste management, conservation easements). Key program information includes the following:
- For 2013, the DEQ encourages applications to be submitted by January 11, May 10, and September 13.
- Interest rates are low, currently ranging from 0.94 percent for planning loans up to 2.44 percent for design and construction loans.
- Principal forgiveness, which is where a portion of the loan balance is forgiven (meaning it does not have to be paid back), is being offered first to communities with less than the statewide median household income. This is a relatively new feature of the CWRLF program.
- To qualify for the CWRLF, the small community population limit has been raised from 5,000 to 10,000. Thus, most all communities in eastern Oregon are now considered small.
The CWRLF receives a considerable funding allocation each year, and has funds available at this time. This is an excellent program to help meet wastewater system needs. If you have questions about this funding program or other programs, please feel free to contact Brad Baird, P.E., at 541-963-8309. The DEQ contact for this program is Shanna Bailey. Shanna is an excellent resource who can help you with all of the CWRLF program details.