Mayor Breed and EPA Announce New Investments to Strengthen Stormwater Management and Climate Resilience in San Francisco

$369 million in funding will support capital improvement projects, including to mitigate flood prone areas that suffered significant damages during recent winter storms, and create jobs for local workers
May 25, 2023

San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to announce a $369 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the SFPUC, with future commitments from the EPA totaling up to $791 million.

These funds will support the City’s capital improvements and resiliency projects to mitigate flood prone areas with stormwater upgrades and water main replacements, like the Wawona and Folsom areas, and Vicente Street, which experienced significant damage caused by flooding during recent winter storms. Additionally, SFPUC will create local jobs modernizing aging wastewater and stormwater infrastructure to enhance seismic resiliency, adapt to climate change, and reduce the risk of combined sewer overflows.   

"The WIFIA loan is much more than a financial agreement – it's a testament to our city's proactive approach to the challenges of the future,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “This new financial agreement enables us to fund crucial projects that enhance our resilience, create jobs, and benefit all of our residents. Through continued investments in our water, wastewater, and power systems, we are not only ensuring a sustainable future for San Francisco, but also demonstrating our leadership in climate change adaptation." 

Mayor Breed was joined by EPA Assistant Administrator of Water Radhika Fox, EPA Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Martha Guzman, SFPUC General Manager Dennis Herrera and others for a signing ceremony at the SFPUC’s North Point Wet-Weather Facility.    

“Bay Area communities are experiencing the complex challenges of climate change—too little water for years on end and storms that deluge the region with too much water at once. EPA’s $369 million loan will upgrade San Francisco’s water infrastructure to better manage these events,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Water infrastructure investments are central to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. Thanks to programs like WIFIA and the historic $50 billion for water under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is investing in essential water infrastructure across the country to address local needs while creating good-paying jobs.”  

"We’re proud to announce the closing of our third Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan with the EPA, making the SFPUC one of the largest partners of this vital federal program,” said SFPUC General Manager Dennis Herrera. “These low-interest loans fund critical projects while keeping our costs down, so we can pass that savings on to our customers. That means we can make needed upgrades to aging infrastructure while keeping our rates competitive. These are crucial investments to improve seismic safety and adapt to droughts and storms as the climate changes. We look forward to our continued partnership with the EPA to showcase what’s possible with these kinds of smart investments.”  

With EPA’s WIFIA loan, the SFPUC will improve the city’s stormwater management ability and strengthen climate resiliency. Pump station improvements will ensure efficient and reliable transport of combined wastewater and stormwater flows to treatment facilities. Construction of the new Treasure Island Wastewater Treatment Plant will provide reliable service to residents and meet future recycled water demands. Implementing these wastewater projects will better protect public health and the local environment.  

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rebuilding infrastructure and boosting U.S. competitiveness while creating good-paying jobs. In San Francisco, these infrastructure upgrades will create prevailing wage, family sustaining jobs. Such projects are subject to the City’s Local Hiring Ordinance, which mandates contractors to hire local residents to work at least of 30% of project hours by trade.  

EPA estimates that the WIFIA loan announced today will reduce costs by approximately $110 million. It will fund more than a dozen wastewater resiliency projects across the city, including these six in the first wave:   

  1. Westside Pump Station Reliability Improvements  
  1. North Shore Pump Station Wet Improvements 
  1. Wawona Area Stormwater Improvement 
  1. New Treasure Island Wastewater Treatment Plant 
  1. Folsom Area Stormwater Improvement 
  1. Yosemite Creek Daylighting  

Future commitments from the EPA in the master agreement could expand to up to $791 million across up to 15 resilience projects citywide.   

About the EPA’s WIFIA Program  

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.    

Learn more about EPA’s WIFIA Program and water infrastructure investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law