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Earthquake Response and Preparedness Funds for Water and Wastewater Systems

Background

On November 30, 2018, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit South Central Alaska which resulted in power outages, pressure losses, pipe breaks, physical damage, and other adverse impacts to water and wastewater systems. The Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 (ASADRA), signed into law in June 2019, includes supplemental funding available through the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for wastewater treatment works and drinking water facilities impacted by natural disasters in 2018 including the earthquakes in Alaska. This funding is targeted at water and wastewater facilities eligible for funding through the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) State Revolving Fund (SRF) Program that were also impacted by the 2018 earthquake.

Call for Projects

At this time, the Alaska SRF Program is evaluating the interest of eligible entities before applying to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for federal grant funds. If your utility has project needs that may be eligible for this funding opportunity, please complete the one-page Letter of Interest form and return it to the SRF Program by December 16, 2019. There is no limit on the number of projects a utility can submit for consideration. The total amount of funding DEC seeks will depend on the level of interest expressed by potential borrowers. Funds will be awarded to DEC and available for providing loans in Fall 2020.

The Letter of Interest form is available as a fillable Word document or as a fillable PDF.

The form may be submitted in the following ways:

By email to:
peggy.ulman@alaska.gov
By mail to:
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
SRF Program - 4th Floor
555 Cordova Street
Anchorage, AK 99501 

Eligible Borrowers

Eligible borrowers for the earthquake response and preparedness funding through ASADRA include those entities that are also eligible for SRF Program funding: municipally-owned water and wastewater utilities and privately owned systems that are economically regulated by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). 

This specific financial assistance is only available to facilities that were impacted by earthquakes in 2018 (including physical damage, loss of power, etc.). System not affected by the 2018 earthquakes may be eligible for funding through the CWSRF or DWSRF.

Eligible Projects

Proposed projects must serve one of more of the following purposes:
  • Facilitates preparation for, adaptation to, or recovery from rapid hydrologic change or any other type of natural disaster for a wastewater treatment work or drinking water system or related facility;
  • Reduces the likelihood of physical damage to a treatment works or drinking water system;
  • Reduces a treatment works’ or water system’s susceptibility to physical damage or ancillary impacts caused by earthquakes; or
  • Facilitates preparation for, adaption to, or recovery from a sudden unplanned change in the amount of and movement of water in proximity to a treatment works or water system.

The ASADRA guidance document provided by EPA includes a list of eligible activities - see the EPA memo in the links at the bottom of this page for more information. If you have identified a project for financial assistance that is not included on this list, please consult with the Alaska SRF Program.

Principal Forgiveness

A minimum of 20 percent of the ASADRA funds will be provided as principal forgiveness. The mechanism for distributing principal forgiveness will be determined based on the level of interest expressed in the Letters of Interest.

Finance Rate, Loan Terms, and Conditions

The standard SRF loan finance rates will be applicable to loans made from these response and preparedness funds. The finance rate for a 20-year SRF loan can be estimated at 1.5%; however, the actual rate will be determined on the date the loan agreement is offered and may be higher depending on current market rates. The method for establishing the finance rate is defined in Alaska Administrative Code (18 AAC 76). Loan terms may extend to 30 years depending on the useful life of the project. 

Projects funded through the SRF Program, including earthquake relief projects, are subject to federal requirements including, but not limited to:

  • American Iron and Steel requirements
  • Federal Davis-Bacon Wage Rates (prevailing wage laws)
  • Environmental review (completed by the SRF Program)
  • Financial capacity assessment (completed by the SRF Program)
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise rules
  • Architectural and Engineering procurement rules (Clean Water projects only)

Useful Links

Contact

If you have questions about the ASADRA earthquake response and preparedness funding, please contact Peggy Ulman, Alaska SRF Program Coordinator, peggy.ulman@alaska.gov, 907-334-2681.

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