Ohio EPA’s 2023 Draft Drinking Water Assistance Fund Program Management Plan Available for Public Comment

Public Hearings Scheduled for July 26

Ohio EPA received a record number of funding requests from communities around the state for drinking water infrastructure projects for the upcoming 2023 program year. The Drinking Water Assistance Fund provides financial and technical assistance for a variety of projects that help improve or protect the quality of Ohio’s drinking water.

The Agency has issued the draft 2023 Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) program management plan and is hosting two public hearings on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, to accept comments about the plan. A 10 a.m. public hearing will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams and in-person at Ohio EPA’s Central Office, 50 W. Town St., Suite 700, Conference Room B (Summer Room), Columbus. Also, a 2 p.m. hearing will be held virtually on Microsoft Teams and at Ohio EPA’s Central Office in Columbus.

Those attending in person must bring a photo ID. To request a reasonable accommodation due to a disability, visit: epa.ohio.gov/ada.

For DWAF program year 2023, which runs from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023, Ohio EPA received a record number of project nominations totaling more than $1.5 billion. Funds are available to all applicants that meet program requirements.

Up to $30.8 million in principal forgiveness is available for disadvantaged community and regionalization projects. Principal forgiveness is the portion of a loan that does not require repayment. Additionally, up to $71 million will be available as combination loan and principal forgiveness awards for lead service line replacement projects. This funding will be available throughout the program year.

Ohio EPA is continuing to offer discounted loans for projects addressing Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) issues, lead service line replacement, and regionalization projects.

In addition to projects identified in the 2023 Program Management Plan, planning and design work, lead service line replacement, HAB, and PFAS projects may be nominated any time.

The primary sources of funds in the DWAF program are proceeds from bond issues, repayments of previously awarded loans and annual federal capitalization grants. Additional principal forgiveness and/or grant funding from other sources may be available during the program year. More information is available in the highlights section of the draft Program Management Plan.

The draft 2023 Program Management Plan is available for review or download by contacting Ohio EPA at defamail@epa.ohio.gov, or calling (614) 644-2798. Written comments may be submitted during the public hearing or emailed to defamail@epa.ohio.gov. All comments must be received by close of business July 26, 2022.