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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), for wastewater and storm water infrastructure projects; and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP), for drinking water infrastructure projects.

  • Go to the online system for submittals.

  • View the interactive map of Wisconsin municipalities receiving funding between State Fiscal Years (SFYs) 2014 and 2017.

  • View the summary of total financial assistance provided to Wisconsin communities between SFYs 1991 and 2017.

Funding programs

The CWFP and SDWLP are revolving loan programs that combine federal grants and state funding to provide financial assistance to municipalities in the form of subsidized loans. Some municipalities may also be eligible for funding in the form of principal forgiveness (PF). Program implementation details are outlined in the governing administrative codes and state statutes.

Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP)

The Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) provides financial assistance to municipalities for wastewater and storm water infrastructure projects. It includes projects for compliance with a municipality's WPDES permit.

Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP)

The Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) provides financial assistance to municipalities for drinking water infrastructure projects.

Other funding programs

Funding options for lead service line (LSL) replacements.

Pilot Projects Program [PDF] provides subsidy to municipalities seeking to fund adaptive management projects, water quality trading projects, and other non-traditional projects (i.e., projects not related to a wastewater treatment plant upgrade) for compliance with a municipality's WPDES permit.

Small Loans Program (SLP) provides interest rate subsidy to municipalities 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). Download the SLP summary and interest rates [PDF].

Multiple funding sources

The Wisconsin DNR Environmental Loans Section often partners with other funding agencies to ensure that municipalities get the best funding package to meet their needs. The DNR and other funding sources can collaborate to clarify the joint funding process and help with common paperwork challenges.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants

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.

Project and cost eligibilities

The following are general guidelines helpful in determining whether an EIF loan would be appropriate for your project. More information is found in the CWFP eligibility index and the SDWLP eligibility index.

  • 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). For example, you must submit your ITA by October 31, 2019 if you're seeking financial assistance in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021, which begins July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021.

  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.

    Next Steps for Applicants: Application Process and Contents:

Interest rates

The current market rate is 3.600%. The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) has set the market rate at 3.200% for loans with municipal bond meetings on or after July 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019, and with a final maturity of twenty years or less. Learn about the market rate and loan interest rate determination.

PROJECT TYPE % of MARKET RATE 4/1/19 - 6/30/19 Interest Rate 7/1/19 - 9/30/19 Interest Rate
Clean Water Fund Program (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 of extremely disadvantaged municipalities meeting the following financial need criteria:
  • < 1,000 population; and
  • ≤ 65% of Wisconsin Median Household Income (MHI).
0% 0% 0%
CWFP and Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (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% 1.188% 1.056%
CWFP and SDWLP
For eligible projects of municipalities not meeting the financial need criteria.
55% 1.980% 1.760%
MARKET RATE 100% 3.600% 3.200%

Deadlines

The state fiscal year begins on the first day of July in each year and closes on the next following June 30 (e.g., SFY 2021 begins July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021).

Visual aids for deadlines, due dates, and timelines:

Listed by deadline date

CWFP & SDWLP deadlines listed by date.
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.
September 30
  • Financial Assistance Application postmark deadline for CWFP if requesting principal forgiveness (PF) for the current state fiscal year funding cycle.
October 31
  • Notice of Intent to Apply (ITA) online submittal deadline for both the CWFP & the SDWLP for the following state fiscal year funding cycle.

Listed by program and type of activity

Clean Water Fund Program (including Small Loans Program)
CWFP deadlines listed by type of activity.
CWFP ACTIVITY CWFP DEADLINE
Intent to Apply
  • Submitted online by October 31 for the following state fiscal year funding cycle.
Application
  • Accepted year round for projects not seeking principal forgiveness (PF).
  • 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 is valid (i.e., sent by June 30, 2018 for projects with valid SFY 18 ITAs).
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 is valid (i.e., sent by June 30, 2018 for projects with valid SFY 18 ITAs).
Safe Drinking Water Loan Program
SDWLP deadlines listed by type of activity.
SDWLP ACTIVITY SDWLP DEADLINE
Intent to Apply
  • 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

Direct questions to and request information from appropriate staff

Clean Water Fund Program contact: Lisa Bushby, CWFP Coordinator, 608-267-7475.

Pilot Projects Program contact: Dave Calhoon, Pilot Projects Specialist, 608-266-4536.

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

Safe Drinking Water Loan Program contact: Nicole (Mathews) Fuentes, SDWLP Coordinator, 608-266-0849.

Small Loans Program contact: Kevin Olson, SLP Specialist, 608-266-9955.

Direct questions about a specific loan project to its DNR project manager

Refer to the corresponding state fiscal year funding list to find the loan's project manager.

Last revised: Thursday June 13 2019