Rock Products

MAY 2018

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Page 64 of 75 ROCK products • May 2018 • 63 ENVIRONMENT The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the avail- ability of funding that could provide as much as $5.5 billion in loans, which could leverage more than $11 billion in water infrastructure projects through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. Pro- spective borrowers seeking WIFIA credit assistance must submit a letter of interest by July 6. "Thanks to the president's leadership, this WIFIA funding will spark new investments to repair our nation's crumbling water infrastructure," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA will play a key role in the president's infrastructure efforts by incentivizing states, municipalities, and public-pri- vate partnerships to protect public health, fix local infrastructure prob- lems, create jobs, and provide clean water to communities." Water Quality The WIFIA program received $63 mil- lion in funding in the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018. This more than doubles its funding from 2017. This year's Notice of Funding Availabil- ity (NOFA) highlights the importance of protecting public health including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants in drinking water sys- tems and updating the nation's aging infrastructure. "An investment in water infrastructure is an investment in our communities," said Dr. Andrew Sawyers, director of the Office of Wastewater Management. "The WIFIA program helps improve water quality and protect public health while supporting the local economy." The WIFIA program will play an important part in making vital improvements to the nation's water infrastructure and implementing the President's Infrastructure Plan, which calls for increasing the program's funding authorization and expanding project eligibility. Background Established by the Water Infrastruc- ture Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost sup- plemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. WIFIA credit assistance can be used for a wide range of projects, including: • Drinking water treatment and dis- tribution projects. • Wastewater conveyance and treat- ment projects. •  Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities. •  Desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling project. •  Drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects. EPA will evaluate proposed projects using WIFIA's statutory and regulatory criteria as described in the NOFA. In 2017, EPA invited 12 projects in 9 states to apply for more than $2 billion in WIFIA loans. EPA Announces New Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects How can homeowners move from a small, one-bedroom apartment to a two- story, 1,940-sq.-ft. home and save 30 percent on their monthly electric and gas bills? Ed and Meg Faichtyger did just that by using precast concrete panels for the foundation and exterior walls of their environmentally respon- sible home in Franklin Township, N.J. "Our concrete home is amazingly energy efficient and quiet," said Ed Faic- hyger. "These walls are solid, so there's no air or noise infiltration. "When we were pricing the building costs of wood and concrete homes, there was surprisingly little difference. We anticipate the long-term benefits will be incredible. We'll never have to worry about water gathering under- neath exterior stucco and causing the wood walls to rot. And, the concrete is fireproof, so our homeowners insur- ance is very low." The Faichtygers did their research to find Xi Walls and the Prespan flooring system from Northeast Precast. Their selection of the Superior Walls prod- ucts are custom made with insulation to help create a dry, comfortable living space. The precast concrete structure was installed in just two working days. Concrete Benefits of Building a Concrete Home

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