The mission of the Maryland Water Infrastructure Financing Administration (MWIFA) is to provide low interest rate loans under the two Revolving Loan Fund Programs and grants under the State Bay Restoration Fund Program for:
- Water quality point source projects and non-point source pollution control projects consistent with the Federal Clean Water Act and the Maryland Bay Restoration Fund Act and amendments.
- Drinking water system upgrade projects (e.g., drinking water treatment plants) to achieve or maintain compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act; and
- Septic system upgrade projects using best available technology to achieve nitrogen removal on onsite sewage disposal systems consistent with the State Bay Restoration Fund Act.
Background and Purpose
The Maryland Water Quality Financing Administration was created during the 1988 session of the Maryland General Assembly as a component unit of the State of Maryland. During the 2022 session, it was renamed to "Maryland Water Infrastructure Financing Administration."
The key purpose is to encourage capital investment for wastewater and drinking water projects pursuant to the Federal Clean Water Act of 1987 and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and Amendments of 1996. During 2004, Maryland legislature established the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) that provides for a dedicated source of revenue by assessing a $30/year per equivalent dwelling unit fee to all homes and businesses connected to wastewater treatment plants and a $30/year fee to each user of an on-site septic system. The statute allocates 60% of the BRF Septic fees to MDE and 40% to the Maryland Department of Agriculture for the Cover Crop Program.
MWIFA administers the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the Bay Restoration Fund, the Supplemental Assistance Grant, the Water Supply Grant, and the Comprehensive Flood Management Grant Program. MWIFA accepts applications for funding from these programs in December thru January each year.
Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund (WQRLF) was created during the 1988 session of the Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing below market rate of interest loans for water quality projects.
Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF) was created during the 1993 session of Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing below market rate of interest loans for drinking water projects.
Both loan programs receive federal funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and offer below market interest rate loans to eligible borrowers, while ensuring the perpetuity of the revolving funds.
- Bay Restoration (Wastewater) Fund was created during the 2004 session of Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing grants for: (1) upgrade of major wastewater treatment plants with Enhanced Nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) Removal (ENR) technologies; (2) upgrade of existing sewerage distribution systems (up to $5M/yr. thru FY 2009) and (3) incremental cost of wastewater treatment plant ENR operations and maintenance (up to 10% of annual revenue or ~$6M/yr. starting FY 2010).
- Bay Restoration (Septic) Fund was created during the 2004 session of Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing grants and loans for the upgrade of septic systems with nitrogen removal best available technologies.
- The Supplemental Assistance Program provides grant assistance to local governments for planning, design, and construction of wastewater improvements needed to address high priority public health or water quality problems. Funding priority is to small disadvantaged communities.
- The Water Supply Financial Assistance Program provides grant assistance to assist small communities in the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of publicly-owned water supply facilities throughout the State. Funding priority is given to disadvantaged communities and/or communities that are non-compliant with drinking water standards.
- The Comprehensive Flood Management Grant Program (CFMGP) provides matching grants to local governments for projects which increase flood resilience and restore natural floodplain including infrastructure retrofits, emergency preparedness measures, and watershed restoration.
The MWIFA is authorized to issue revenue bonds subject to approval of the State Board of Public Works and Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment. Bonds issued by the MWIFA do not constitute a debt or the full faith and credit pledge of the State or any political subdivision. The bonds are paid solely from MWIFA revenues as pledged under the bond indenture for each of the above Funds.
For additional information, please call (410) 537-3119.