$42M EPA loan, reduce flooding in Milwaukee underserved communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 22, 2018: A flag with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) logo flies at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 19, a $42 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan to Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. 

A news release says this "investment will help fund the Waterway Flood Management and Restoration Project and will expand stormwater management capacity and reduce flood risk in historically underserved communities."

The release says MMSD’s Waterway Flood Management and Restoration Project will improve stormwater management using traditional and green infrastructure solutions. The project includes design and construction of a 31-million-gallon stormwater management facility. This facility will be developed on 15 acres of abandoned industrial property, which will also be transformed into a green space. 

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In addition, MMSD will design and construct a 210-acre-foot flood storage basin to increase capacity of the culverts. It will also replace of 2,800 feet of concrete channel lining with natural channel designs and reconstruct 2,200 feet of non-concrete lined stream channel. Together, these projects will reduce flood risk to hundreds of residential and commercial buildings while decreasing sewer overflows. Incorporating green infrastructure will result in more green spaces and mitigate urban heat island effects in communities with environmental justice concerns.

EPA’s $42 million WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of the $85 million project. Project construction and operation are expected to create an estimated 130 jobs and construction is expected to be completed in 2027. 

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