The Department of Health (department) adopted emergency rule changes to Chapter 246-296 WAC, Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program.
The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) enacted on November 15, 2021, includes new criteria for public water systems to obtain a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan. BIL provides funding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act in the form of capitalization grants to states for the DWSRF loan program. BIL requires that states provide loan subsidization, up to one hundred percent principal forgiveness, to qualifying disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged communities.
A key priority of the BIL is to ensure that disadvantaged communities benefit equitably from this historic investment in water infrastructure. The BIL mandates that 49 percent of funds provided through the DWSRF General Supplemental Funding and the DWSRF Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding must be provided as grants and forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities. The BIL also requires that at least 25 percent of funds provided through the DWSRF Emerging Contaminants Funding be provided as grants and forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities or public water systems serving fewer than 25,000 people.
246-296 DWSRF: Lead Service Line Identification and Replacement
The department amended sections of chapter 246-296 WAC to conform with requirements in the BIL. The amendments allow the department to utilize EPA tools for identifying disadvantaged communities, modernizes the calculation for water systems to qualify as a disadvantaged community, removes water system plan requirements for those systems that are seeking a loan to address LSL identification and replacement, and removes obsolete priority rating and ranking criteria to allow more water systems to qualify for loans.
To review the adopted rule language read the CR-103E Emergency Adoption form and filed rule language (PDF).
The newly adopted rule took effect on February 28, 2023, and expires June 27, 2023.
Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (PDF).
For more information about this rulemaking contact program staff Mike Means, Capacity Development and Policy Manager, 360.236.3178; or Rules Coordinator Nina Helpling, 360.236.3065.
246-296-050 DWSRF: Loan terms
Under the current rule, the department may approve a qualifying disadvantage community for a DWSRF loan for principal forgiveness up to 50 percent of the loan amount or in a case of an emergency, for up to 75 percent of the loan amount. The current rule does not allow for any principal forgiveness to an applicant that does not qualify as a disadvantaged community. The amended rule allows the department to forgive a portion or all of the loan amount to both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged communities in conformance with EPA’s direction to states to implement BIL requirements before the current loan cycle contract execution date of May 1, 2023.
To review the adopted rule language read the CR-103E Emergency Adoption form and filed rule language.
The newly adopted rule took effect on February 10, 2023, and expires June 10, 2023.
For more information about this rulemaking contact Program Staff Mike Means, Capacity Development and Policy Manager, 360.236.3178; or Rules Coordinator Nina Helpling, 360.236.3065.
To receive rule notices by email sign up for the rulemaking email list.