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Learn about funding opportunities for municipalities to assist with replacing lead service lines (LSL) on private property:

Read EL program rule changes; Chs. NR 162 & 166, Wis. Adm. Codes:

Contact information
For general information on DNR grant & loan programs, contact:
CFA Bureau staff
Search for DNR contacts by county & subject:
DNR staff directory

Environmental Improvement Fund (EIF) Environmental Loans

The Environmental Improvement Fund (EIF) is managed and administered jointly by DNR Environmental Loans (EL) and Department of Administration (DOA). EIF encompasses two environmental financing programs for local governments:

  • the Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP), and
  • the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP), which includes the Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding Program.

Download [PDF] the Environmental Loans (EL) program summaries and interest rates.

Funding programs

The Clean Water Fund Program and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program are revolving loan programs that combine federal grants and state funding to provide financial assistance to municipalities in the form of subsidized loans or awards of principal forgiveness.

Program implementation details are outlined in the governing administrative codes and state statutes.

Eligible applicants and funding recipients, also referred to as municipalities or local governments, include: Wisconsin cities, towns, villages, counties, town sanitary districts, county utility districts, municipal water districts, metropolitan sewerage districts, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts, joint local water authorities (created under s. 66.0823, Wis. Stats.), and federally recognized tribes or bands in Wisconsin.

Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP)

The Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) provides financial assistance to municipalities for wastewater treatment facilities and urban storm water runoff projects.

  • Hardship Financial Assistance is subsidy for municipalities with low income and high user costs. Note: the Hardship Program will cease after the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018 funding cycle, with an exception for one (1) municipality for which a complete application for SFY 2019 funding can still be submitted by June 30, 2018.

  • Small Loans Program (SLP) provides interest rate subsidy to local governments for State Trust Fund (STF) loans from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) used to fund DNR-approved wastewater and storm water infrastructure projects (with total estimated project costs of $2,000,000 or less).

  • Pilot Project Program [PDF] provides subsidy for non-traditional wastewater treatment facility alternatives.

Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP)

The Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) provides financial assistance to public water systems to build, upgrade, or replace water supply infrastructure to protect public health and address federal and state safe drinking water requirements.

Other funding sources

Other funding sources are available from various other partners/agencies depending on the type of project and other qualifications. Some of these sources include Focus on Energy, USDA-Rural Development, and CDBG.

Eligibility

The following are general guidelines helpful in determining whether an EIF loan would be appropriate for your project.

  • The municipal wastewater project is a necessity to stay in compliance with WPDES permits or to meet new permit requirements.

  • Projects constructing a new sewer system to eliminate groundwater pollution and threats to public health.

  • Projects that correct public water systems that violate health standards, has contamination, is not in compliance with drinking water standards, or has inadequate transmission pipes and/or storage facilities.

How to apply

In order to start the application process for an EIF loan, you need to complete these steps.

  1. Identify and define the wastewater treatment or drinking water "problem" that needs to be corrected or prevented. This process generally involves a joint effort of the municipality, a consulting engineer, and the DNR engineer in your area.

  2. Pre-Application - A notice of Intent to Apply (ITA) & a Priority Evaluation and Ranking Formula (PERF) must be submitted online to DNR for each project for which you will be seeking an EIF loan. The deadline for all ITAs/PERFs is October 31 for the following state fiscal year (SFY) funding cycle. All ITAs/PERFs must be submitted annually online because they will only be valid for one state fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th).

    EXAMPLE: You must submit your ITA/PERF by the October 31, 2017 deadline if you're seeking funding in SFY 2019, which begins July 1, 2018 and ends June 30, 2019.

  3. When your project score is finalized, you will receive an email directing you to the project score. Projects with scores will be put on the Project Priority List (PPL) in score order and are eligible to apply for funding.

    Application - You will also be directed to more detailed information about the application process and what's next for your project if you wish to pursue funding:
  4. The PPL also identifies your DNR project manager and construction management engineer (CME). These staff can advise you on the best financial strategy for your situation and guide you through the process of closing on a loan.

  5. Municipal officials, consulting engineers, financial advisors or anyone else with access to the necessary information can fill out the application. The authorized representative of the municipality must sign the application.

Interest rates

The current market interest rate is 3.200%. On a quarterly basis, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) assesses the market rate on which the Environmental Loans program subsidies are based. The Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) provide loans at or below the market interest rate.

The DOA has set the market rate at 3.200% for loans with municipal meetings (at which the Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) is signed) on or after October 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

PROGRAM / PROJECT TYPE PERCENT OF MARKET RATE INTEREST RATE
CWFP
For the portion of eligible projects for receiving and storing septage, and capacity for treating septage; as well as for mercury remediation at wastewater treatment facilities.
0% 0%
CWFP
For eligible projects of extremely disadvantaged municipalities meeting the following financial need criteria:
  • < 1,000 population; and
  • ≤ 65% of Wisconsin Median Household Income (MHI).
0% 0%
CWFP and SDWLP
For eligible projects of disadvantaged municipalities meeting the following financial need criteria:
  • < 10,000 population; and
  • ≤ 80% of Wisconsin Median Household Income (MHI).
33% 1.056%
CWFP and SDWLP
For eligible projects of municipalities not meeting the financial need criteria.
55% 1.760%
MARKET RATE (effective 10/01/17 – 12/31/17) 100% 3.200%

The DOA has set the market interest rate at 3.200% for the quarter beginning October 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. For loans closing during said quarter (determined by the date of the municipal meeting at which the FAA is executed), the loan interest rate will be determined based on the market rate of 3.200%:

  • Eligible CWFP pilot projects may be awarded loans with an interest rate as low as 0%.

  • The portion of eligible CWFP projects for receiving and storing septage, and capacity for treating septage will receive an interest rate of 0%.

  • CWFP loans, provided at zero percent of the market rate, will be awarded with an interest rate of 0%.

  • CWFP and SDWLP loans, provided at thirty-three percent of the market rate, will be awarded with an interest rate of 1.056%.

  • CWFP and SDWLP loans, provided at fifty-five percent of the market rate, will be awarded with an interest rate of 1.760%.

Deadlines

Visual aids for deadlines, due dates, and timelines:

Listed by deadline date

CWFP & SDWLP deadlines listed by date. Note: the Hardship Program will cease after the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018 funding cycle, with an exception for one (1) municipality for which a complete application for SFY 2019 funding can still be submitted by June 30, 2018.
DEADLINE PROGRAM ACTIVITY
June 30
  • Financial Assistance Application postmark deadline for SDWLP for the upcoming state fiscal year funding cycle.

  • Loan closing deadline for prior year's SDWLP allocations.

  • Financial Assistance Application postmark deadline for Hardship Program for the upcoming state fiscal year funding cycle.
August 30
  • Loan closing deadline for prior year's Hardship Program allocations.
September 30
  • Financial Assistance Application postmark deadline for CWFP if requesting principal forgiveness (PF) for the current state fiscal year funding cycle.
October 31
  • Pre-Application: notice of Intent to Apply (ITA) & Priority Evaluation and Ranking Formula (PERF) online submittal deadline for both the CWFP & the SDWLP, including SFY 2018 Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding Program, for the following state fiscal year funding cycle.

Listed by program and type of activity

Clean Water Fund Program (including Small Loans Program and Hardship Program)
CWFP deadlines listed by type of activity. Note: the Hardship Program will cease after the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018 funding cycle, with an exception for one (1) municipality for which a complete application for SFY 2019 funding can still be submitted by June 30, 2018.
CWFP ACTIVITY CWFP DEADLINE
Pre-Application: ITA & PERF
  • Submitted online by October 31 for the following state fiscal year funding cycle.
Application
  • Accepted year round for projects not seeking principal forgiveness (PF) or Hardship Program.

  • Postmarked by June 30 if requesting Hardship Program financial assistance for the upcoming state fiscal year funding cycle.

  • Postmarked by September 30 if requesting principal forgiveness (PF) for the current state fiscal year funding cycle.
Loan Closing
  • For both PF and non-PF CWFP projects, sign Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) within eight (8) months following the date of the application acceptance notification, which is sent by the end of the state fiscal year for which the ITA/PERF is valid (i.e., sent by June 30, 2018 for projects with valid SFY 18 ITAs/PERFs).
Hardship Program Loan Closing
  • Sign Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) by the August 30 following the calendar year in which funding was allocated.
Small Loans Program (SLP) Loan Closing
  • Sign Interest Rate Subsidy Agreement (IRSA) within eight (8) months following the date of the application acceptance notification, which is sent by the end of the state fiscal year for which the ITA/PERF is valid (i.e., sent by June 30, 2018 for projects with valid SFY 18 ITAs/PERFs).
Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (including SFY 2017 & SFY 2018 Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding Program)
SDWLP deadlines listed by type of activity.
SDWLP ACTIVITY SDWLP DEADLINE
Pre-Application: ITA & PERF
  • Submitted online by October 31 for the following state fiscal year funding cycle.
Application
  • Postmarked by June 30 for the upcoming state fiscal year funding cycle.
Loan Closing
  • Sign Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) by the June 30 following the calendar year in which funding was allocated.

Help


For information about the CWFP, contact: Matt Marcum, 608-264-8986.

For information about the SDWLP, contact: Nicole Mathews, 608-266-0849.

For information about the Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding Program, contact: Becky Scott, 608-267-7584.

For information about the SLP or Hardship Program, contact: Michelle Eis, 608-267-0490.

For information about a specific loan or project, contact: your DNR project manager. Contact information is listed along with their areas of expertise in the EL staff directory page.

Last revised: Monday October 23 2017