BOSTON — State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Chair of the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, announced today more than $7.6 million in loan principal forgiveness for 24 projects in 18 communities statewide, including three SouthCoast communities. The principle forgiveness funds are administered on a competitive basis to cities and towns most in need of financial assistance to help pay for improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

“Providing these funds to local communities will save the rate payers money and protect the health of the citizens and the environment,” said Treasurer Goldberg. “This $7.6 million is another example of the excellent work the Trust does saving our local communities money.”

The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust improves the water quality in the Commonwealth through the provision of low-cost capital financing to cities, towns and other eligible entities. Because of the reduction of loan principal funded by this program, impacted communities will see their bi-annual loan repayments reduced, freeing up capital for other local needs. The loans were originated to pay for municipal water projects such as upgrades to water treatment facilities and storm water and sewer improvement projects.

The communities that earned loan principal forgiveness are: Brockton, Chicopee, Dartmouth, Fall River, Fitchburg, Hopedale, Lowell, Plymouth, Revere, Saugus, Southbridge, Taunton, Barnstable, Hadley, Haverhill, Leominister and New Bedford.

“Water infrastructure upkeep is very expensive, and finding ways to help cities and towns stay up with requirements is essential,” said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to be able to direct some additional financial assistance to maintaining and improving water infrastructure and protecting residents in these communities.”

The $7.6 million in loan forgiveness funds is associated with a total original loan amount of more than $214.7 million. The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust lends financial assistance to the Commonwealth under the State Revolving Fund program by providing subsidized loans to cities and towns for clean water and drinking water infrastructure development. Since its establishment in 1989, the Trust has loaned m nearly $7 billion to improve and maintain the quality of water in the Commonwealth. An estimated 97 percent of Massachusetts’ citizens have benefited from the financial assistance of the Clean Water Trust.

New Bedford will see $790,957 of its $16 million loan forgiven on a project to perform needed rehabilitation and upgrades at city's 40-year old Quittacas Water Treatment Plant, which is the sole facility that treats water for the entire New Bedford water system. The Quittacas facility is the most critical element and backbone of the entire system. The upgrades will insure the continued safety and reliability of the city's drinking water supply.

Dartmouth will be forgiven $19,453 of its $1,260,000 loan to provide treatment upgrades to the existing Water Pollution Control Facility. The scope includes upgrading the existing low pressure, low intensity ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system to a low pressure, high intensity UV system to improve bacterial kill. Upgrading the existing UV system will allow the facility to meet current NPDES permit requirements. In addition, it will improve and consistently provide a high quality effluent to Buzzards Bay.

Fall River has two projects involved. First, $199,373 will be forgiven of a $4,304,547 loan for improvements to teh Globe Street sewer system. Also, $182,662 will be forgiven of a $3,695,000 loan as the city enters its 16th year of its annual cast iron water main and lead service replacement program.

--State Treasurer's Office