Today, to assist communities recovering from the devastating impact of Hurricane Michael, and at the direction of Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is offering the suspension of up to $12 million in wastewater and drinking water facility loan repayments and interest accrual for two years. This will provide cities and counties impacted by Hurricane Michael with flexible local funding that can be used for more urgent needs, while focusing their resources on rebuilding their communities as quickly as possible.
“The health and safety of our communities continues to be our top priority,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Suspending these loan repayments will keep $12 million in these local communities to help them quickly rebuild and recover.”
DEP is reaching out to every community impacted by Hurricane Michael to offer to suspend loan payments and interest accrual on their wastewater or drinking water utility loans, for up to two years. In addition, to quickly address short-term needs and make immediate infrastructure repairs, DEP has provided grant funding to Florida Rural Water Association.
DEP’s Division of Water Restoration Assistance is responsible for providing loans and grants for projects that improve the quality and quantity of the state’s water resources and provide a significant benefit to the environment and local communities. Through these low interest loans and grants, DEP helps communities fund projects that improve stormwater quality, reduce pollutants entering surface water and groundwater, protect springs, collect and treat wastewater, produce and distribute drinking water. The state’s clean water and drinking water state revolving fund programs combined have awarded more than $5 billion in funding since their inception.
About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention, and acquires environmentally sensitive land for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves.