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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.

Municipalities are defined as: City, Town, Village, County; Town Sanitary District; Public Inland Lake Rehabilitation District; Metropolitan Sewerage District; Joint Local Water Authority; and Federally Recognized Tribe or Band in the State.

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.

  • 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. 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 (7/1 - 6/30).

    EXAMPLE: You must submit your ITA/PERF by the October 31, 2016 deadline if you're seeking funding in SFY 2018, which begins July 1, 2017 and ends June 30, 2018.

  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.

    Next Steps - 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

On a quarterly basis, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) assesses the market interest 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 set the market interest rate at 3.40% for the quarter beginning July 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017.
  • The DOA has lowered the market interest rate to 3.20% for loans closing during municipal meetings on or after October 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

Note: The Governor's proposed 2017-2019 biennial budget includes changes to increase the Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) interest rate subsidy. For more information, please read E-Bulletin Volume 6, Issue 03.

PROGRAM & PROJECT TYPE PERCENT OF MARKET RATE INTEREST RATE effective
7/1/17 – 9/30/17
INTEREST RATE effective
10/1/17 – 12/31/17
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% 0%
CWFP
For eligible projects to maintain compliance with existing effluent limits or to meet new or changed effluent limits; storm water projects; or projects to sewer previously unsewered areas.
70% 2.380% 2.240%
SDWLP
For eligible projects of municipalities with a population less than 10,000 and a median household income (MHI) equal to or less than eighty percent of the state MHI.
33% 1.122% 1.056%
SDWLP
For eligible projects of municipalities not meeting the financial need criteria.
55% 1.870% 1.760%
MARKET RATE 100% 3.400% 3.200%

The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) has set the market interest rate at 3.20% 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 Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) is executed), the loan interest rate will be determined based on the market interest rate of 3.20%:

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

  • CWFP loans, provided at seventy percent of the market rate, will be awarded with an interest rate of 2.240%.

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

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

Deadlines

Download the visual aid for deadlines & due dates for both EL programs; the Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP):

Listed by deadline date

CWFP & SDWLP deadlines listed by date.
DEADLINE PROGRAM ACTIVITY
June 30
  • Financial Assistance Application postmark deadline for SDWLP, including SFY 2018 Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding Program.

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

  • Financial Assistance Application postmark deadline for CWFP Hardship financial assistance.
August 30
  • Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) signing deadline for prior year's Hardship allocations.
September 30
  • Financial Assistance Application postmark deadline for CWFP if requesting principal forgiveness (PF).
October 31
  • Pre-Application: Intent to Apply (ITA) & Priority Evaluation and Ranking Formula (PERF) on-line submittal deadline for both the CWFP & the SDWLP, including SFY 2018 Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding Program.

Listed by program and type of activity

Clean Water Fund Program (including Hardship financial assistance and Small Loans Program)
CWFP deadlines listed by type of activity.
CWFP ACTIVITY CWFP DEADLINE
Pre-Application: ITA & PERF
Application
  • Postmarked by June 30 if requesting Hardship financial assistance.

  • No deadline for Non-Hardship projects, unless applying for principal forgiveness (PF).

  • Postmarked by September 30 if requesting principal forgiveness (PF).
'Regular' & PF Loan Closing
  • For both CWFP 'regular' and PF applications, the loan closing must be within eight (8) months following the date of the application acceptance letter, which is mailed by the end of the state fiscal year for which the ITA/PERF is valid (i.e., mailed June 30, 2017 for projects with valid SFY 17 ITAs/PERFs).
Hardship Loan Closing
  • Sign 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 8 months following date of application acceptance letter, which is mailed by the end of the state fiscal year for which the ITA/PERF is valid (i.e., mailed June 30, 2017 for projects with valid SFY 17 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
Application
  • Postmarked by June 30.
Loan Closing
  • Sign 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 Financial Assistance, contact: Michelle Eis, 608-267-0490.

For information about a specific loan or project, contact: your DNR project manager or construction management engineer (CME). Contact information is listed along with their areas of expertise in the EL Staff directory page.

Last revised: Monday September 25 2017