Press release from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, shared April 23:

Total of $14.5 million to go to 18 North Carolina counties

RALEIGH – State water quality officials have awarded $41.5 million in low-interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to pay for wastewater and stormwater projects in 18 North Carolina counties.

Twice a year, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program provides low-interest loans, which are currently set at 2 percent, to local governments in support of clean water infrastructure. Funding is made available by federal capitalization grants, state matching funds and repayment of loans. The revolving fund has operated for more than 20 years in North Carolina.

The awards announced Monday total $41,599,655 and will be used to help finance 23 projects. The counties where awards were received are: Alamance, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Gaston, Haywood, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Orange, Rockingham, Stanly, Vance and Yadkin

Among those receiving low-interest loans this funding cycle is the town of Andrews. The town’s Main Street sewer line has clay pipe, some too small for today’s standards, and brick manholes. Line collapses have caused sink holes and sewer back-ups. Half of the $492,300 the town was awarded qualifies for principal forgiveness, which refers to money the town is not required to pay back. The loan will be used to install 1,400 feet of pipe of the proper size and improved durability.

Residents in Cabarrus Acres near Midland are suffering from failing septic systems that contribute pollution to the Rocky River. The town was awarded $1.2 million in low-interest loans for 7,000 feet of sewer line and a pump station that will send Cabarrus Acres’ wastewater to the Cabarrus County Water and Sewer District for treatment.

Eden will use its award to rehabilitate the Tanyard Branch Outfall, an area plagued with sewer system overflows. The $2.5 million award, which includes $1 million in principal forgiveness, will fund replacement of 6,000 feet of clay pipe and rehabilitation of an additional 11,000 feet of pipe.

In total, six communities received principal forgiveness as part of their loans. Principal forgiveness is only provided when specifically allowed under federal appropriations law. The 2011 federal budget provided a maximum of about $8 million in principal forgiveness. The final Intended Use Plan for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund provided that principal forgiveness be available in the September 2011 and March 2012 funding rounds.

Project awards are not final until all funding program requirements have been met and the Local Government Commission approves the recipient’s financial qualifications.

For more information about the revolving fund and this cycle’s award recipients, please visit the state Division of Water Quality’s website at

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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