Projects and activities eligible for assistance
The amounts of funds available to each State water pollution control revolving fund shall be used only for providing financial assistance—
to any municipality or intermunicipal, interstate, or State agency for construction of publicly owned treatment works (as defined in section 1292 of this title
for the construction, repair, or replacement of decentralized wastewater treatment systems that treat municipal wastewater or domestic sewage;
for measures to manage, reduce, treat, or recapture stormwater or subsurface drainage water;
to any municipality or intermunicipal, interstate, or State agency for measures to reduce the demand for publicly owned treatment works capacity through water conservation, efficiency, or reuse;
to any municipality or intermunicipal, interstate, or State agency for measures to reduce the energy consumption needs for publicly owned treatment works;
for reusing or recycling wastewater, stormwater, or subsurface drainage water;
for measures to increase the security of publicly owned treatment works;
to any qualified nonprofit entity, as determined by the Administrator, to provide assistance to owners and operators of small and medium publicly owned treatment works—
to plan, develop, and obtain financing for eligible projects under this subsection, including planning, design, and associated preconstruction activities; and
to assist such treatment works in achieving compliance with this chapter; and
to any qualified nonprofit entity, as determined by the Administrator, to provide assistance to an eligible individual (as defined in subsection (j))—
for the repair or replacement of existing individual household decentralized wastewater treatment systems; or
in a case in which an eligible individual resides in a household that could be cost-effectively connected to an available publicly owned treatment works, for the connection of the applicable household to such treatment works.
Types of assistance
Except as otherwise limited by State law and provided in subsection (k), a water pollution control revolving fund of a State under this section may be used only—
to make loans, on the condition that—
such loans are made at or below market interest rates, including interest free loans, at terms not to exceed the lesser of 30 years and the projected useful life (as determined by the State) of the project to be financed with the proceeds of the loan;
annual principal and interest payments will commence not later than 1 year after completion of any project and all loans will be fully amortized upon the expiration of the term of the loan;
the recipient of a loan will establish a dedicated source of revenue for repayment of loans;
the fund will be credited with all payments of principal and interest on all loans; and
for a treatment works proposed for repair, replacement, or expansion, and eligible for assistance under subsection (c)(1), the recipient of a loan shall—
develop and implement a fiscal sustainability plan that includes—
an inventory of critical assets that are a part of the treatment works;
an evaluation of the condition and performance of inventoried assets or asset groupings;
a certification that the recipient has evaluated and will be implementing water and energy conservation efforts as part of the plan; and
a plan for maintaining, repairing, and, as necessary, replacing the treatment works and a plan for funding such activities; or
certify that the recipient has developed and implemented a plan that meets the requirements under clause (i);
to buy or refinance the debt obligation of municipalities and intermunicipal and interstate agencies within the State at or below market rates, where such debt obligations were incurred after March 7, 1985;
to guarantee, or purchase insurance for, local obligations where such action would improve credit market access or reduce interest rates;
as a source of revenue or security for the payment of principal and interest on revenue or general obligation bonds issued by the State if the proceeds of the sale of such bonds will be deposited in the fund;
to provide loan guarantees for similar revolving funds established by municipalities or intermunicipal agencies;
to earn interest on fund accounts; and
for the reasonable costs of administering the fund and conducting activities under this subchapter, except that such amounts shall not exceed 4 percent of all grant awards to such fund under this subchapter, $400,000 per year, or ⅕ percent per year of the current valuation of the fund, whichever amount is greatest, plus the amount of any fees collected by the State for such purpose regardless of the source.
Limitation to prevent double benefits
If a State makes, from its water pollution revolving fund, a loan which will finance the cost of facility planning and the preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates for construction of publicly owned treatment works, the State shall ensure that if the recipient of such loan receives a grant under section 1281(g) of this title for construction of such treatment works and an allowance under section 1281(l)(1) of this title for non-Federal funds expended for such planning and preparation, such recipient will promptly repay such loan to the extent of such allowance.
Consistency with planning requirements
A State may provide financial assistance from its water pollution control revolving fund only with respect to a project which is consistent with plans, if any, developed under sections 1285(j), 1288, 1313(e), 1329, and 1330 of this title.
Eligibility of non-Federal share of construction grant projects
A State water pollution control revolving fund may provide assistance (other than under subsection (d)(1) of this section) to a municipality or intermunicipal or interstate agency with respect to the non-Federal share of the costs of a treatment works project for which such municipality or agency is receiving assistance from the Administrator under any other authority only if such assistance is necessary to allow such project to proceed.
In any case in which a State provides assistance to an eligible recipient under subsection (d), the State may provide additional subsidization (including forgiveness of principal, grants, negative interest loans, other loan forgiveness, and through buying, refinancing, or restructuring debt)—
in assistance to a municipality or intermunicipal, interstate, or State agency to benefit a municipality that—
meets the affordability criteria of the State established under paragraph (2); or
does not meet the affordability criteria of the State if the recipient—
seeks additional subsidization to benefit individual ratepayers in the residential user rate class;
demonstrates to the State that such ratepayers will experience a significant hardship from the increase in rates necessary to finance the project or activity for which assistance is sought; and
ensures, as part of an assistance agreement between the State and the recipient, that the additional subsidization provided under this paragraph is directed through a user charge rate system (or other appropriate method) to such ratepayers; or
to implement a process, material, technique, or technology—
to address water-efficiency goals;
to address energy-efficiency goals;
to mitigate stormwater runoff; or
to encourage sustainable project planning, design, and construction.
Not later than September 30, 2015, and after providing notice and an opportunity for public comment, a State shall establish affordability criteria to assist in identifying municipalities that would experience a significant hardship raising the revenue necessary to finance a project or activity eligible for assistance under subsection (c)(1) if additional subsidization is not provided.
The criteria under clause (i) shall be based on income and unemployment data, population trends, and other data determined relevant by the State, including whether the project or activity is to be carried out in an economically distressed area, as described in section 3161 of title 42.
If a State has previously established, after providing notice and an opportunity for public comment, affordability criteria that meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)—
the State may use the criteria for the purposes of this subsection; and
those criteria shall be treated as affordability criteria established under this paragraph.
Information to assist States
The Administrator may publish information to assist States in establishing affordability criteria under subparagraph (A).
A State may provide additional subsidization in a fiscal year under this subsection only if the total amount appropriated for making capitalization grants to all States under this subchapter for the fiscal year exceeds $1,000,000,000.
Total amount of subsidization
For each fiscal year, of the amount of the capitalization grant received by the State under this subchapter, the total amount of additional subsidization made available by a State under paragraph (1)—
may not exceed 30 percent; and
to the extent that there are sufficient applications for assistance to communities described in that paragraph, may not be less than 10 percent.
A loan from the water pollution control revolving fund of a State with an interest rate equal to or greater than 0 percent shall not be considered additional subsidization for purposes of this subparagraph.
The authority of a State to provide additional subsidization under this subsection shall apply to amounts received by the State in capitalization grants under this subchapter for fiscal years beginning after September 30, 2014.
If the State provides additional subsidization to a municipality or intermunicipal, interstate, or State agency under this subsection that meets the criteria under paragraph (1)(A), the State shall take the criteria set forth in section 1382(b)(5) of this title into consideration.
Definition of eligible individual
In subsection (c)(12), the term “eligible individual” means a member of a household, the members of which have a combined income (for the most recent 12-month period for which information is available) equal to not more than 50 percent of the median nonmetropolitan household income for the State in which the household is located, according to the most recent decennial census.
[June 30, 1948, ch. 758], title VI, § 603, as added [Pub. L. 100–4, title II, § 212(a)], Feb. 4, 1987, [101 Stat. 23]; amended [Pub. L. 113–121, title V, § 5003], June 10, 2014, [128 Stat. 1323]; [Pub. L. 114–322, title IV, § 5012], Dec. 16, 2016, [130 Stat. 1902]; [Pub. L. 115–270, title IV, § 4107(a)], Oct. 23, 2018, [132 Stat. 3876]; [Pub. L. 117–58, div. E, title II, § 50210(a)(1)], Nov. 15, 2021, [135 Stat. 1169].)