PHILADELPHIA, PA – Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and John Fetterman (D-PA) announced $340 million in federal funding for Philadelphia to modernize its water infrastructure and work to ensure Philadelphians can access safe, clean drinking water. Philadelphia will receive a low-interest Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will jumpstart the work to modernize the drinking water system with an initial investment of nearly $20 million to replace approximately 160 lead service lines and 13 miles of watermains.
“When we’re lucky, we never have to worry about the quality of our water,” said Senator Casey. “Children and families in Philadelphia get their drinking water through lead pipes—not because they choose to, but because the City of Philadelphia has not been able to replace these outdated and dangerous pipes. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, that will no longer be the case.”
“This is a huge, game-changing investment in the city of Philadelphia’s water infrastructure,” said Senator Fetterman. “It’ll guarantee that communities across the city can upgrade from lead pipes and provide safe drinking water for all. This is just another example of the President and Democrats in the Senate getting things done for the people of Pennsylvania, and we’re going to keep making these kinds of investments in communities that have been left behind.”
By financing this first project with a WIFIA loan, the EPA estimates the City of Philadelphia will save approximately $4 million. Construction and operation under this first loan are estimated to create approximately 100 jobs.
Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.