NewsOhio EPA Presents PISCES Award to City of AkronNovember 22, 2017Today, Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler presents U.S. EPA’s PISCES Award to the City of Akron for its Howard Storage Basin project. The award is one of 28 projects to be recognized, and one of only five to be rated as exceptional, by U.S. EPA for excellence and innovation within the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program. Through the Howard Storage Basin project, the City will construct a 2.4 million gallon concrete storage basin to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Little Cuyahoga River. “We are grateful to the Ohio EPA for their partnership in helping us utilize this innovative financing, which will save our ratepayers $16.9 million dollars over the term of the loan,” said Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan. “I would also like to thank the Akron Engineering Bureau and our entire team for their outstanding work in making this project a success.” “The City of Akron was the first community in the state to take advantage of our new, innovative programs to help communities manage their complex wastewater issues while helping make changes more affordable,” Director Butler said. “Using longer-term financing through the state revolving loan fund shows Akron is helping clean our environment and be fiscally responsible. I thank Mayor Horrigan for his leadership.”The basin project also is sponsoring three Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, through which the City directs a portion of the loan’s interest payments to purchase land, restore a wetland and remove a dam.Since 2011, Ohio EPA has awarded the City of Akron $657 million in wastewater funds in 58 low-interest loans through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. Created in 1989, the WPCLF provides below-market interest rate loans for communities to improve their wastewater treatment systems. WPCLF loans are used for many purposes such as improvements to publicly owned treatment works and home sewage treatment systems, water quality-based storm water projects, agricultural best management practices, and landfill closures. The WPCLF provides technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program. Ohio EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with help from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.