North Carolina received a grant of $70.7 million to fund wastewater system improvements throughout the state. The Division of Water Quality's Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program, which administers the program, received letters of interest that identified more than $2 billion in potentially eligible projects. The public hearing on the draft intended use plan, rating system and project list occurred on March 17, with first round applications due March 17, 2009, and a deadline on second round applications of June 3.
Projects on the state list were ranked based on a priority rating system. ARRA requires that 20 percent of funding must be awarded for green infrastructure projects, such as wastewater reuse, stormwater management and water efficiency and energy generation. Projects that were ready to proceed immediately were given preference. Terms of the award are 50 percent in principal forgiveness and 50 percent zero interest loan to be paid back over 20 years. North Carolina placed a $3 million cap on each applicant to ensure wide distribution of funding throughout the state.
As of July 20, two rounds of projects have been awarded. First-round project awards -- made on April 24 by the Division of Water Quality -- were awarded to 36 communities in 30 counties, and totaled approximately $45,850,000. Second-round project awards totaling $21.3 million were made on July 20 and went to 12 communities in nine counties for wastewater and stormwater projects.
Five of the 38 first-round projects, and eight of the 12 second-round projects to receive funding are green projects that include wastewater reuse or stormwater management components. Round One funding committed for these projects is $5.7 million, while $9.67 million was committed for green projects in round two.
Project awards are not final until the Local Government Commission approves the recipient’s financial qualifications.