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Contact information
For CWFP & SDWLP information, contact:
Environmental Loans staff

Summary of financial assistance

Program implementation details are outlined in the governing administrative codes and statutes: §§ 281.58 and 281.59 and 281.61, Wis. Stat., and chs. NR 162 and 166, Wis. Adm. Code.

Wisconsin provided over five billion dollars in financial assistance to municipalities since State Fiscal Year 1991 through two environmental financing programs:

  • Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP), for wastewater and storm water, since 1991, including the Small Loans Program (SLP).
  • Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP), for drinking water, since 1998, including the Private Lead Service Line (LSL) Replacement Funding Program (SFYs 2017-2018).

Total financial assistance provided: $5,399,519,311

Total financial assistance provided between 05/01/1991 and 06/30/2019*.
Program # of Projects Loan Principal Forgiveness Small Loan Total Assistance Provided
CWFP 1,112 $4,447,900,941 $159,436,600 $29,701,534 $4,637,039,075
SDWLP 375 $656,565,633 $79,056,718 n/a $735,622,351
LSL '17-'18 64 n/a $26,857,885 n/a $26,857,885
TOTALS 1,551 $5,104,466,574 $265,351,203 $29,701,534 $5,399,519,311

*Does not include nearly $129 million of financial hardship grants that were awarded through 2017 and prior to statutory changes eliminating the hardship financial assistance program.

About Environmental Loans

Wisconsin implements a state revolving loan fund that combines federal capitalization grants from the EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds with state funding to provide financial assistance to municipalities in the form of subsidized loans for drinking water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure projects. Some municipalities may also be eligible for funding in the form of principal forgiveness. The Environmental Improvement Fund (EIF) is managed and administered jointly by the DNR Environmental Loans Section and the DOA Capital Finance Office.

Under the CWFP and SDWLP, municipalities may receive financial assistance in the form of reduced-interest rate loans; additional subsidy to reduce the size of a loan; or a combination of assistance to keep project costs low. The Environmental Loan (EL) programs can finance construction as it takes place; refinance interim debt used to design and construct a project; and reimburse municipal funds used for project costs. The CWFP is the successor to the EPA Construction Grant Program.

Intended Use Plan

The Intended Use Plan (IUP) identifies, by state fiscal year, the use of federal capitalization grant monies, how the DNR program supports the goals of the federal Act, and describes how the DNR program will operate during the corresponding state fiscal year. Each draft IUP is available for public comment prior to finalization. The final IUP is included in our federal capitalization grant application to EPA.

Informational Paper

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau Informational Paper on the EIF describes background about the separate financing programs for local governments; financial assistance criteria; components of the loan programs; special provisions; and program administration.

Contact information
For information on this topic, contact:
Matt Marcum or Jim Ritchie or DOA Capital Finance Office staff

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Disclaimer of guidance: This document is intended solely as guidance and does not contain any mandatory requirements except where requirements found in statute or administrative rule are referenced. Any regulatory decisions made by the Department of Natural Resources in any matter addressed by this guidance will be made by applying the governing statutes and administrative rules to the relevant facts.

Last revised: Thursday January 16 2020