[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 117 (Friday, June 17, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36489-36494]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-12987]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL 9899-01-OW]


Notice of Funding Availability for Credit Assistance Under WIFIA 
Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of funding availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, signed 
by the President on March 15, 2022, Congress provided $58.5 million in 
budget authority for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation 
Act of 2014 (WIFIA) program to cover the subsidy required to provide a 
much larger amount of credit assistance. The U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that this budget authority may 
provide approximately $5.5 billion in credit assistance and may finance 
approximately $11 billion in water infrastructure investment. The 
purpose of this notice of funding availability (NOFA) is to solicit 
letters of interest (LOIs) from prospective borrowers seeking credit 
assistance from EPA under the WIFIA program.

ADDRESSES: Prospective borrowers should submit all LOIs electronically 
via EPA's SharePoint site. To be granted access to the SharePoint site, 
prospective borrowers should contact [email protected] and request a link 
to the SharePoint site, where they can securely upload their LOIs and 
then email [email protected] once the complete LOI package has been 
uploaded to the SharePoint site.
    EPA will notify prospective borrowers that their LOI has been 
received via a confirmation email.
    Prospective borrowers can access additional information, including 
the WIFIA program handbook and application materials, on the WIFIA 
website: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 36490]]

A. Submission and Review of Letters of Interest on a Rolling Basis

    EPA is changing the way it accepts LOIs to respond to both market 
conditions, including cost inflation and supply chain shortages and 
unparalleled Federal investment through the Infrastructure Investment 
and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. The WIFIA program will 
be responsive to these conditions by moving to a rolling selection 
process, whereby LOIs may be submitted by prospective borrowers and 
received by EPA at any time throughout the year. A rolling selection 
process allows EPA to provide year-round access to WIFIA funding and 
quicker selection decisions to prospective borrowers. In addition, 
under this iterative, rolling selection process, the WIFIA program can 
provide technical assistance to prospective borrowers that need 
feedback in order to complete their LOI package. Since LOIs will be 
evaluated on a first-come, first served basis, EPA encourages LOI 
submissions at the beginning of the availability period.

B. Funding Availability Period

    LOIs may be submitted by prospective borrowers and will be received 
by EPA on a rolling basis. The LOI submittal period will begin on 
September 6, 2022 and end on the earlier of (i) the date on which all 
budget authority made available under this NOFA is committed (notice of 
such to be provided on the WIFIA website: https://www.epa.gov/wifia), 
and (ii) publication of a subsequent notice ending this LOI submittal 
period or replacing this NOFA with an updated NOFA.
    In addition, EPA reserves the right to make additional awards using 
FY2022 appropriated funding or funding authority carried over from 
previous fiscal years, consistent with agency policy and guidance, if 
additional funding is available after the original selections are made. 
Any funding authority not obligated in the fiscal year for which it is 
authorized remains available for obligation in subsequent years.

C. Summary of NOFA and Submission Instructions

    EPA will evaluate and select proposed projects described in the 
LOIs using the selection criteria established in the statute and 
regulation, and further described in this NOFA as well as the WIFIA 
program handbook. This NOFA establishes relative weights that will be 
used in the current LOI submittal period for the selection criteria, 
explains budgetary scoring factors to determine budgetary scoring 
compliance, and outlines the process that prospective borrowers should 
follow to be considered for WIFIA credit assistance.
    For a project to be considered during the availability period, EPA 
must receive an LOI, via SharePoint, before the end of the availability 
period. EPA anticipates any future NOFA will include sufficient notice 
of the end of the period for borrowers to complete LOIs in progress.
    When writing an LOI, prospective borrowers should complete the 
WIFIA LOI form and follow the guidelines contained on the WIFIA program 
website: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-application-materials. 
Prospective borrowers should provide the LOI and any attachments as 
Microsoft Word documents or searchable PDF files, whenever possible, to 
facilitate EPA's review. Additionally, prospective borrowers should 
ensure that financial information, including the pro forma financial 
statement, is in a formula-based Microsoft Excel document. Section VI 
of this NOFA provides additional details on the LOI's content.
    EPA will invite each prospective borrower whose project proposal is 
selected for continuation in the process to submit a final application. 
Final applications should be received by EPA within 365 days of the 
invitation to apply, but EPA may extend the deadline on a case-by-case 
basis if the LOI schedule signals additional time may be needed.

D. Opportunities To Learn More About the WIFIA Program

    EPA will host a series of webinars to provide further information 
about submitting an LOI. The webinar schedule and registration 
instructions can be found on the WIFIA program website: www.epa.gov/wifia.
    Prospective borrowers with questions about the program or interest 
in meeting with the WIFIA program staff may send a request to 
[email protected]. EPA will meet with all prospective borrowers interested 
in discussing the program prior to submission of an LOI.

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Program Funding
III. Eligibility Requirements
IV. Budgetary Scoring Determination for Non-Federal Projects
V. Types of Credit Assistance
VI. Letters of Interest and Applications
VII. Fees
VIII. Selection Criteria
IX. Federal Requirements

I. Background

    Congress enacted WIFIA as part of the Water Resources Reform and 
Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). Codified at 33 U.S.C. 3901-3914, WIFIA 
authorizes a Federal credit program for water infrastructure projects 
to be administered by EPA. WIFIA authorizes EPA to provide Federal 
credit assistance in the form of secured (direct) loans or loan 
guarantees for eligible water infrastructure projects.
    The WIFIA program's mission is to accelerate investment in our 
nation's water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure by providing 
long-term, low-cost, supplemental credit assistance under customized 
terms to creditworthy water infrastructure projects of national and 
regional significance. Additionally, the WIFIA program is implementing 
four key Administration priorities in this 2022 NOFA:

A. Increasing Investment in Economically-Stressed Communities

    EPA encourages the submission of projects that address the ever 
increasing needs of economically-stressed and disadvantaged communities 
to ensure they benefit from investments in water infrastructure, and 
therefore improve the public health and livability of these 
communities.

B. Making Rapid Progress on Lead Service Line Replacement

    Many drinking water systems still have lead service lines. EPA 
encourages the submission of drinking water infrastructure projects 
that will help make rapid progress on replacing lead service lines so 
we can reduce exposure to lead and improve public health.

C. Addressing PFAS and Emerging Contaminants

    EPA encourages the submission of projects that focus on reducing 
people's exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances 
(PFAS) and other emerging contaminants through drinking water and/or 
projects that help address discharges of emerging contaminants from 
wastewater and/or stormwater systems.

D. Supporting One Water Innovation and Resilience

    One of the defining features of WIFIA is the broad range of 
eligible projects that EPA can fund to flexibly support priority needs. 
EPA encourages borrowers to submit applications for water 
infrastructure projects that are new and innovative in regards to 
energy efficiency, addressing drought, or reducing water pollution and 
contaminants. In addition, EPA

[[Page 36491]]

encourages the submission of water infrastructure projects that are 
more resilient to all threats--whether it is natural disasters (e.g., 
flooding, hurricanes), climate change, or threats such as bioterrorism 
and cyber-attacks.

II. Program Funding

    Congress appropriated $58.5 million in funding to cover the subsidy 
cost of providing WIFIA credit assistance. The subsidy cost covers the 
Federal government's risk that the loan may not be paid back. EPA 
anticipates that the average subsidy cost for WIFIA-funded projects 
will be relatively low; therefore, this funding can be leveraged into a 
much larger amount of credit assistance. EPA estimates that this 
appropriation will allow the agency to provide approximately $5.5 
billion \1\ in long-term, low-cost financing to water infrastructure 
projects and accelerate approximately $11 billion in infrastructure 
investment around the country.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ This estimated loan volume is provided for reference only. 
Consistent with the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 and the 
requirements of the Office of Management and Budget, the actual 
subsidy cost of providing credit assistance is based on individual 
project characteristics and calculated on a project-by-project 
basis. Thus, actual lending capacity may vary.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Eligibility Requirements

    The WIFIA statute and implementing rules set forth eligibility 
requirements for prospective borrowers, projects, and project costs. 
The requirements outlined below are described in greater detail in the 
WIFIA program handbook.

A. Eligible Applicants

    Prospective borrowers must be one of the following to be eligible 
for WIFIA credit assistance:
    (i) A corporation;
    (ii) A partnership;
    (iii) A joint venture;
    (iv) A trust;
    (v) A Federal, state, or local governmental entity, agency, or 
instrumentality;
    (vi) A tribal government or a consortium of tribal governments; or
    (vii) A state infrastructure financing authority.

B. Eligible Projects

    The WIFIA statute authorizes EPA to provide credit assistance for a 
wide variety of projects. Projects must be one of the following to be 
eligible for WIFIA credit assistance:
    (i) One or more activities that are eligible for assistance under 
section 603(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 
1383(c)), notwithstanding the public ownership requirement under 
paragraph (1) of that subsection;
    (ii) One or more activities described in section 1452(a)(2) of the 
Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j-12(a)(2));
    (iii) A project for enhanced energy efficiency in the operation of 
a public water system or a publicly owned treatment works;
    (iv) A project for repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of a 
treatment works, community water system, or aging water distribution or 
waste collection facility (including a facility that serves a 
population or community of an Indian reservation);
    (v) A brackish or sea water desalination project, including 
chloride control, a managed aquifer recharge project, a water recycling 
project, or a project to provide alternative water supplies to reduce 
aquifer depletion;
    (vi) A project to prevent, reduce, or mitigate the effects of 
drought, including projects that enhance the resilience of drought-
stricken watersheds;
    (vii) Acquisition of real property or an interest in real 
property--
    (a) If the acquisition is integral to a project described in 
paragraphs (i) through (v); or
    (b) Pursuant to an existing plan that, in the judgment of the 
Administrator, would mitigate the environmental impacts of water 
resources infrastructure projects otherwise eligible for assistance 
under this section;
    (viii) A combination of projects, each of which is eligible under 
paragraph (i) or (ii), for which a state infrastructure financing 
authority submits to the Administrator a single application; or
    (ix) A combination of projects secured by a common security pledge, 
each of which is eligible under paragraphs (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), 
(vi), or (vii), for which an eligible entity, or a combination of 
eligible entities, submits a single application.

C. Eligible Costs

    As defined under 33 U.S.C. 3906 and described in the WIFIA program 
handbook, eligible project costs are costs associated with the 
following activities:
    (i) Development-phase activities, including planning, feasibility 
analysis (including any related analysis necessary to carry out an 
eligible project), revenue forecasting, environmental review, 
permitting, preliminary engineering and design work, and other 
preconstruction activities;
    (ii) Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and replacement 
activities;
    (iii) The acquisition of real property or an interest in real 
property (including water rights, land relating to the project, and 
improvements to land), environmental mitigation (including acquisitions 
pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 3905(8)), construction contingencies, and 
acquisition of equipment; and
    (iv) Capitalized interest necessary to meet market requirements, 
reasonably required reserve funds, capital issuance expenses, and other 
carrying costs during construction. Capitalized interest on WIFIA 
credit assistance may not be included as an eligible project cost.

D. Threshold Requirements

    For a project to be eligible for WIFIA credit assistance, a project 
must meet the following criteria:
    (i) The project and obligor shall be creditworthy;
    (ii) A project shall have eligible project costs that are 
reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $20 million, or for a project 
eligible under paragraph (2) or (3) of 33 U.S.C. 3905 serving a 
community of not more than 25,000 individuals, project costs that are 
reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed $5 million;
    (iii) Project financing shall be repayable, in whole or in part, 
from state or local taxes, user fees, or other dedicated revenue 
sources that also secure the senior project obligations of the project; 
shall include a rate covenant, coverage requirement, or similar 
security feature supporting the project obligations; and may have a 
lien on revenues subject to any lien securing project obligations;
    (iv) In the case of a project that is undertaken by an entity that 
is not a state or local government or an agency or instrumentality of a 
State or local government, or a tribal government or consortium of 
tribal governments, the project that the entity is undertaking shall be 
publicly sponsored; and
    (v) The applicant shall have developed an operations and 
maintenance plan that identifies adequate revenues to operate, 
maintain, and repair the project during its useful life.

IV. Budgetary Scoring Determination for Non-Federal Projects

    To comply with Public Law 116-260, a project selected for WIFIA 
financing using funding appropriated in FY2022 will be assessed using 
two initial screening questions and sixteen scoring factors. These 
questions will help the Office of Management and Budget

[[Page 36492]]

(OMB) determine compliance with budgetary scoring rules, a process that 
will be conducted in parallel to EPA's LOI evaluation process outlined 
in this NOFA. The questions may be found in Federal Register 
publication: Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program 
(WIFIA) Criteria Pursuant to Public Law 116-94 (85 FR 39189, June 30, 
2020). These questions are also published in the WIFIA program handbook 
and further information about the scoring process may be referenced 
therein. EPA encourages project applicants to review the scoring 
criteria and provide sufficient information in the LOI or as an 
attachment to the LOI to facilitate EPA and OMB review of the 
prospective project considering the scoring criteria.

V. Types of Credit Assistance

    Under WIFIA, EPA is permitted to provide credit assistance in the 
form of secured (direct) loans or loan guarantees. Each prospective 
borrower should list the estimated total capital costs of the project, 
broken down by activity type and differentiating between eligible 
project costs and ineligible project costs in the LOI and application.

A. Maximum Amount of WIFIA Credit Assistance

    The maximum amount of WIFIA credit assistance to a project is 49 
percent of eligible project costs in almost all instances.

B. Exception for Small Communities

    Recognizing the need that exists in both small and large 
communities to invest in infrastructure, Congress stipulated in statute 
that EPA set aside 15 percent of the budget authority appropriated each 
year for small communities, defined as systems that serve a population 
of 25,000 or less. Pursuant to the WIFIA statute, of the funds set 
aside, any amount not obligated by June 1 of the fiscal year for which 
budget authority is set aside may be used for any size community. 
Regardless of whether EPA obligates these funds by June 1 of the fiscal 
year for which budget authority is set aside, EPA will endeavor to use 
15 percent of its budget authority for small communities.
    EPA knows that small communities can face extraordinary challenges 
paying for needed water infrastructure projects. Therefore, EPA is 
offering small community prospective borrowers the opportunity to 
request credit assistance up to 80 percent of the eligible project 
costs. Small community needs represent a disproportionate amount of the 
overall water infrastructure needs nationwide. By offering credit 
assistance up to 80 percent, EPA is making a project's financing 
simpler and more accessible and reducing transaction costs for small 
communities, enabling them to finance and implement needed upgrades and 
improvements to their infrastructure.

VI. Letters of Interest and Applications

    Each prospective borrower will be required to submit an LOI and, if 
invited, an application to EPA to be considered for approval. This 
section describes the LOI submission and application submission.

A. Letter of Interest (LOI)

    Prospective borrowers seeking a WIFIA loan must submit an LOI 
describing the project fundamentals and addressing the WIFIA selection 
criteria.
    The primary purpose of the LOI is to provide adequate information 
to EPA to: (i) validate the eligibility of the prospective borrower and 
the prospective project, (ii) perform a preliminary creditworthiness 
assessment, (iii) perform a preliminary engineering feasibility 
assessment, and (iv) evaluate the project against the selection 
criteria. Based on its review of the information provided in the LOI, 
EPA will invite prospective borrowers to submit applications for their 
projects. Prospective borrowers are encouraged to review the WIFIA 
program handbook to help create the best justification possible for the 
project and a cohesive and comprehensive LOI submittal.
    Prospective borrowers should utilize the LOI form on the WIFIA 
website and ensure that sufficient detail about the project is provided 
for EPA's review. EPA will notify a prospective borrower if its project 
is deemed ineligible as described in Section III of this NOFA or if 
additional information is needed to assess the LOI package.
    Below is guidance on what EPA recommends be included in the LOI.
    1. Key Loan Information. In this section, the prospective borrower 
provides a general description of the project, purpose, loan amount, 
total eligible project costs, application submission date, loan close 
date, and population information. The prospective borrower also 
includes information such as its legal name, address, website, Unique 
Entity ID from SAM.gov, and employer/taxpayer identification number.
    In the case of a project that is undertaken by an entity that is 
not a state or local government or an agency or instrumentality of a 
state or local government, or a tribal government or consortium of 
tribal governments, the project that the entity is undertaking must be 
publicly sponsored. Public sponsorship means that the prospective 
borrower can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of EPA, that it has 
consulted with the affected state, local, or tribal government in which 
the project is located, or is otherwise affected by the project, and 
that such government supports the proposed project. A prospective 
borrower can show support by including a certified letter signed by the 
approving state, tribal, or municipal department or similar agency; 
governor, mayor or other similar designated authority; statute or local 
ordinance; or any other means by which government approval can be 
evidenced.
    2. Engineering and Credit. In this section, the prospective 
borrower provides any technical reports or written information relevant 
to evaluating the project and a high-level schedule of dates for the 
project or projects included in the LOI. To evaluate creditworthiness, 
the prospective borrower provides a credit rating letter that is less 
than a year old or is actively maintained. If the prospective borrower 
does not have a current rating letter, the borrower describes how the 
senior obligations of the project will achieve an investment-grade 
rating and includes a pro-forma and three years of audited financial 
statements.
    3. Selection Criteria. In this section, the prospective borrower 
describes the potential policy benefits achieved using WIFIA assistance 
with respect to each of the WIFIA program selection criteria. These 
criteria and their weights, as applicable, are enumerated in Section 
VIII of this NOFA and further explained in the WIFIA program handbook.
    4. Contact Information. In this section, the prospective borrower 
identifies the point of contact with whom the WIFIA program should 
communicate regarding the LOI. To complete EPA's evaluation, the WIFIA 
program staff may contact a prospective borrower regarding specific 
information in the LOI.
    5. Certifications. In this section, the prospective borrower 
certifies that it will abide by all applicable laws and regulations, if 
selected to receive funding.
    6. SRF Notification. In this section, the prospective borrower 
acknowledges that EPA will notify the state infrastructure financing 
authority in the state in which the project is located that it 
submitted an LOI and provide the submitted LOI and source documents to 
that authority. The prospective borrower may opt out of having its LOI 
and source documents shared.

[[Page 36493]]

B. Application

    After EPA concludes its evaluation of a complete LOI package, a 
selection committee will invite the prospective borrower to apply based 
on review and scoring, as applicable, of the selection criteria and 
satisfaction of the eligibility requirements, while taking into 
consideration geographic and project diversity. The selection committee 
may choose to combine multiple LOIs or separate projects from a 
prospective borrower based on the creditworthiness review and may offer 
an alternative amount of WIFIA assistance than requested in the LOI.
    An invitation to apply for WIFIA credit assistance does not 
guarantee EPA's approval, which remains subject to a project's 
continued eligibility, including creditworthiness, the successful 
negotiation of terms acceptable to EPA, and the availability of funds 
at the time at which all necessary recommendations and evaluations have 
been completed. However, the purpose of EPA's LOI review is to pre-
screen prospective borrowers to the extent practicable. It is expected 
that EPA will only invite prospective borrowers to apply if it 
anticipates that those prospective borrowers are able to obtain WIFIA 
credit assistance. Detailed information needs for the application are 
listed in the application form and described in the WIFIA program 
handbook.

VII. Fees

    There is no fee to submit an LOI. For information about application 
and post-closing costs, please refer to the WIFIA fee rule, Fees for 
Water Infrastructure Project Applications under WIFIA, 40 CFR 35.10080.

VIII. Selection Criteria

    This section specifies the criteria and process that EPA will use 
to evaluate LOIs and award applications for WIFIA assistance.
    The selection criteria described below incorporate statutory 
eligibility requirements, supplemented by the WIFIA regulations at 40 
CFR 35.10055, and by the Administration priorities identified in 
Section I of this document. EPA's priorities reflect water sector 
challenges that require innovative tools to assist local governments in 
managing and adapting to our most pressing public health and 
environmental challenges. These priorities are reflected in the scoring 
methodology of the selection criteria below, described in greater 
detail in the WIFIA program handbook.
    The WIFIA selection criteria are divided into three categories: 
Project Readiness, Borrower Creditworthiness and Project Impact. Each 
LOI will be evaluated for the extent to which the project satisfies the 
criteria listed below for each category. To satisfy the overall 
category review, it is not necessary to satisfy all of the criteria for 
each category. For the Project Impact category, WIFIA staff will score 
LOIs based on the points indicated below. All projects that satisfy 
category level review for all three categories will be selected for 
funding, assuming sufficient funds are still available. The criteria 
are as follows:
    Project Readiness:
    (i) The readiness of the project to proceed toward development, 
including a demonstration by the obligor that there is a reasonable 
expectation that the contracting process for construction of the 
project can commence by not later than 90 days after the date on which 
a Federal credit instrument is obligated for the project under [WIFIA]. 
33 U.S.C. 3907(b)(2)(J); and 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(9).
    (ii) Preliminary engineering feasibility analysis. 33 U.S.C. 
3907(a)(2); 33 U.S.C. 3907(a)(6); 40 CFR 35.10015(c); and 40 CFR 
35.10045(a).
    Borrower Creditworthiness:
    (i) The likelihood that assistance under [WIFIA] would enable the 
project to proceed at an earlier date than the project would otherwise 
be able to proceed. 33 U.S.C. 3907(b)(2)(C); and 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(2).
    (ii) The extent to which the project financing plan includes public 
or private financing in addition to assistance under [WIFIA]. 33 U.S.C. 
3907(b)(2)(B); and 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(10).
    (iii) The extent to which assistance under [WIFIA] reduces the 
contribution of Federal assistance to the project. 33 U.S.C. 
3907(b)(2)(K); and 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(11).
    (iv) The amount of budget authority required to fund the Federal 
credit instrument made available under [WIFIA]. 33 U.S.C. 
3907(b)(2)(E).
    (v) Preliminary creditworthiness assessment analysis. 33 U.S.C. 
3907(a)(1); 40 CFR 35.10015(c); 40 CFR 35.10045(a)(1); 40 CFR 
35.10045(a)(4); and 40 CFR 35.10045(b).
    Project Impact:
    (i) 5 points: The extent to which the project is nationally or 
regionally significant, with respect to the generation of economic and 
public benefits, such as (1) the reduction of flood risk; (2) the 
improvement of water quality and quantity, including aquifer recharge; 
(3) the protection of drinking water, including source water 
protection; and (4) the support of international commerce. 33 U.S.C. 
3907(b)(2)(A); and 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(1).
    (ii) 25 points: The extent to which the project (1) protects 
against extreme weather events, such as floods or hurricanes; or (2) 
helps maintain or protect the environment, including Priority 3: 33 
U.S.C. 3907(b)(2)(F); 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(4); and 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(5).
    (iii) 5 points: The extent to which the project serves regions with 
significant energy exploration, development, or production areas: 33 
U.S.C. 3907(b)(2)(G); and 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(6).
    (iv) 5 points: The extent to which a project serves regions with 
significant water resource challenges, including the need to address: 
(1) water quality concerns in areas of regional, national, or 
international significance; (2) water quantity concerns related to 
groundwater, surface water, or other water sources; (3) significant 
flood risk; (4) water resource challenges identified in existing 
regional, state, or multistate agreements; or (5) water resources with 
exceptional recreational value or ecological importance. 33 U.S.C. 
3907(b)(2)(H); 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(7).
    (v) 5 points: The extent to which the project addresses identified 
municipal, state, or regional priorities. 33 U.S.C. 3907(b)(2)(I); 40 
CFR 35.10055(a)(8).
    (vi) 5 points: The extent to which the project addresses needs for 
repair, rehabilitation or replacement of a treatment works, community 
water system, or aging water distribution or wastewater collection 
system. 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(12).
    (vii) 25 points: The extent to which the project serves 
economically stressed communities, or pockets of economically stressed 
rate payers within otherwise non-economically stressed communities, 
including Priority 1. 40 CFR 35.10055(a)(13).
    (viii) 25 points: The extent to which the project reduces exposure 
to lead in the nation's drinking water systems or addresses emergent 
contaminants, including Priority 2. 40 CFR 35.10055(b).
    (ix) 25 points: The extent to which the project uses new or 
innovative approaches, including Priority 4. 33 U.S.C. 3907(b)(2)(D); 
40 CFR 35.10055(a)(3).
    In addition to the selection criteria, EPA is required by 33 U.S.C. 
3902(a) to ``ensure a diversity of project types and geographical 
locations.''
    The scoring scales and guidance used to evaluate each project 
against the selection criteria are available in the WIFIA program 
handbook. Prospective borrowers considering WIFIA should

[[Page 36494]]

review the WIFIA program handbook and discuss how the project addresses 
each of the selection criteria in the LOI submission.

IX. Federal Requirements

    All projects receiving WIFIA assistance must comply with the 
applicable Federal requirements including (but not limited to) those 
listed below. Compliance with Federal requirements is not required for 
submitting a letter of interest, being invited to apply for a WIFIA 
loan, or submitting an application. The WIFIA program will review 
selected projects for compliance with Federal requirements once they 
have submitted an application. Additional information about Federal 
compliance requirements, including WIFIA's BABAA waiver and the WIFIA 
Borrower Guide to Federal Requirements, is available at https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-federal-compliance-requirements.
    (i) Build America, Buy America Act, Public Law 117-58, Sec.  70911-
70917;
    (ii) American Iron and Steel Requirement, 33 U.S.C. 3914, https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf/state-revolving-fund-american-iron-and-steel-ais-requirement;
    (iii) Labor Standards, 33 U.S.C. 1372, https://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/dbra.htm;
    (iv) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq., https://www.epa.gov/nepa;
    (v) Floodplain Management, Executive Order 11988, 42 FR 26951, May 
24, 1977, https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/11988.html;
    (vi) Archeological and Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 469-
469c, https://www.nps.gov/archeology/tools/laws/ahpa.htm;
    (vii) Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq., https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview;
    (viii) Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-water;
    (ix) Coastal Barrier Resources Act, 16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., https://www.fws.gov/program/coastal-barrier-resources-act;
    (x) Coastal Zone Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq., https://coast.noaa.gov/czm/about/;
    (xi) Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., https://www.fws.gov/endangered/;
    (xii) Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-Income Populations, Executive Order 12898, 59 FR 
7629, February 16, 1994, https://www.archives.gov/files/federal-register/executive-orders/pdf/12898.pdf;
    (xiii) Protection of Wetlands, Executive Order 11990, 42 FR 26961, 
May 25, 1977, as amended by Executive Order 12608, 52 FR 34617, 
September 14, 1987, https://www.epa.gov/cwa-404;
    (xiv) Farmland Protection Policy Act, 7 U.S.C. 4201 et seq., 
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/?cid=nrcs143_008275;
    (xv) Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 U.S.C. 661-666c, as 
amended, https://www.fws.gov/;
    (xvi) Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 
U.S.C. 1801 et seq., https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/document/magnuson-stevens-fishery-conservation-and-management-act;
    (xvii) National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq., 
https://www.nps.gov/archeology/tools/laws/NHPA.htm;
    (xviii) Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq., https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water;
    (xix) Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq., https://rivers.gov/;
    (xx) Debarment and Suspension, Executive Order 12549, 51 FR 6370, 
February 18, 1986, https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12549.html;
    (xxi) Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act, 42 
U.S.C. 3301 et seq., as amended, and Executive Order 12372, 47 FR 
30959, July 14, 1982, http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning;
    (xxii) New Restrictions on Lobbying, 31 U.S.C. 1352, https://www.epa.gov/grants/lobbying-and-litigation-information-federal-grants-cooperative-agreements-contracts-and-loans;
    (xxiii) Prohibitions relating to violations of the Clean Water Act 
or Clean Air Act with respect to Federal contracts, grants, or loans 
under 42 U.S.C. 7606 and 33 U.S.C. 1368, and Executive Order 11738, 38 
FR 25161, September 12, 1973, https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/11738.html;
    (xxiv) The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property 
Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2005-01-04/pdf/05-6.pdf;
    (xxv) Age Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq., https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adea.cfm;
    (xxvi) Equal Employment Opportunity, Executive Order 11246, 30 FR 
12319, September 28, 1965, https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/ca_11246.htm;
    (xxvii) Section 13 of the Clean Water Act, Public Law 92-500, 
codified in 42 U.S.C. 1251, https://www.epa.gov/ocr/external-civil-rights-compliance-office-title-vi;
    (xxviii) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 794, 
supplemented by Executive Orders 11914, 41 FR 17871, April 29, 1976 and 
11250, 30 FR 13003, October 13, 1965, https://www.epa.gov/ocr/section-
504-rehabilitation-act-
1973#:~:text=No%20otherwise%20qualified%20individual%20with,activity%20r
eceiving%20Federal%20financial%20assistance;
    (xxix) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et 
seq., https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/title-vi-and-environmental-justice; and
    (xxx) Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in 
Procurement under the Environmental Protection Agency Financial 
Assistance Agreements, 73 FR 15904, March 26, 2008, https://www.epa.gov/resources-small-businesses.
    Detailed information about some of these requirements is outlined 
in the WIFIA program handbook and WIFIA Borrower Guide to Federal 
Requirements. Further information can be found at the links above.
    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 3901-3914; 40 CFR part 35.

Michael S. Regan,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2022-12987 Filed 6-16-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P