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EPA Announces $225M WIFIA Loan to the City of San Diego to Protect Water Quality and Reduce Flood Risks

SAN DIEGO, CA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces a $225-million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of San Diego, California, to support the Stormwater Capital Improvement Project. With EPA’s WIFIA loan, the City of San Diego will protect water quality, reduce flood risk, and restore natural habitats while supporting resiliency to the impacts of climate change.

The Stormwater Capital Improvement Program will utilize traditional infrastructure and green infrastructure to reduce flood risk and ensure that water flowing into local tributaries is clean and safe for San Diego’s 1.4 million residents. To accomplish this, the city is using the WIFIA program’s terms to finance the design and construction of the Stormwater Capital Improvement Program’s nearly 80 projects.

These projects will redirect captured stormwater through existing, traditional drainage passageways as well as implement new, multi-benefit green technologies that will use the city’s natural environment to filter stormwater and reduce untreated runoff that enters the Pacific Ocean. The city’s green infrastructure projects will make additional important community outcomes possible, including the restoration of critical wetland habitats for plants and animals, reducing the heat-island effect, community beautification, and creating green space.

“Our storm drain system is largely underground and out of sight, but the implications of this aging infrastructure failing are massive — from serious flooding in our neighborhoods to pollution of our bays and the ocean,” said City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “While replacing storm drains and upgrading pump stations doesn’t capture the public’s attention like fixing potholes, these major investments in critical infrastructure are incredibly important to our neighborhoods and quality of life.”

Construction under this loan is expected to be completed in 2027 and construction and operation are estimated to create approximately 1,500 jobs. This is the first loan under a new master agreement that will commit over $350 million in WIFIA assistance to the City of San Diego.

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