The State Revolving Funds were created to help water and wastewater systems finance projects to protect public health and abide to other federal regulations. Each state, to an extent, designs their own criteria and process to distribute funds to applicants in their state. Prior to 2009, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, states had the option to create criteria for disadvantaged communities in their Intended Use Plans. However, in 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required both of the State Revolving Funds to provide additional subsidization through the form of principal forgiveness, grants, or negative interest rates. Then in 2014, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act further addressed the additional subsidization for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was contracted by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to conduct research on affordability and principal forgiveness in the State Revolving Funds of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 states. More specifically, this report focuses on how EPA Region 4 states are determining eligibility for principal forgiveness in their State Revolving Funds programs. The report also gives insights on the role of consolidation in affordability and past resources on affordability.