(STL.News) – Yesterday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Florida officials announced a $99.7 million loan to Miami-Dade County for wastewater infrastructure upgrades that will help protect the environment and create jobs. Here is what federal and state leaders are saying about this funding for Florida water infrastructure.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler: “EPA’s nearly $100 million WIFIA loan to Miami-Dade County will help construct advanced wastewater treatment technologies that will protect our oceans and beaches while creating valuable jobs. Through the WIFIA program, EPA is fulfilling several of President Trump’s top priorities simultaneously: upgrading our nation’s water infrastructure, protecting water resources, and creating well-paying jobs.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: “President Trump’s administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to helping address Florida’s unique water challenges. These federal dollars being released by the EPA will be invested in critical water infrastructure upgrades and help protect the water supply for millions of Floridians for generations to come. We continue to do our part at the state level to push for historic investments to protect and restore our environment and water quality.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio: “I am pleased that Miami-Dade County is amongst the first communities in the country to benefit from Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act funds, which I have championed since I joined the Senate Appropriations Committee. This low-interest loan will enable the County to construct a new advanced wastewater treatment plant to meet state requirements to reduce ocean outfall discharges of sewage into our coastal waters by 2025, without overburdening water and sewer rate payers. I was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives when the ocean outfall law was enacted, and it is very fulfilling to have been a part of this critical initiative to improve water quality at both the state and federal levels.”
U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart: “As an appropriator, I know how significant the WIFIA loan is to localities across the nation, and I know first-hand how far these dollars will go in our community. Not only will this loan save the County nearly $30 million while improving critical infrastructure, but it will also create approximately 95 new jobs – thereby boosting our local economy. I thank Administrator Andrew Wheeler for his commitment to our nation, and for the signing of this loan. I look forward to the execution of this project and seeing its tremendous impact in Miami-Dade County.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez: “By utilizing this important funding opportunity, we will be able to come into compliance with state regulatory requirements designed to ensure the safety of our water and sewer system. In addition to meeting state regulations, these wells that will be built will help make our county’s wastewater system much more resilient for dealing with extreme weather events because these wells will be built to withstand storm surges, an especially important proactive measure for us to undertake since the county’s wastewater treatment plants are located on the coast, and are more vulnerable to the impact of rising sea levels.”
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein: “This substantial funding and support from Administrator Wheeler and EPA is an important step forward as Miami-Dade County works to upgrade its wastewater infrastructure to eliminate its ocean outfall. We appreciate the EPA and County’s commitment to improving Florida’s water quality and improving critical infrastructure.”