Water Quality Financing Administration Overview

Water Quality Financing Administration Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the Maryland Water Quality Financing Administration (WQFA) is to provide low interest rate loans under the two Revolving Loan Fund Programs and grants under the State Bay Restoration Fund Program for:

  • Water quality point source projects (e.g., wastewater treatment plants) and non-point source pollution control projects (e.g., existing landfill capping) consistent with the Federal Clean Water Act and the State Bay Restoration Fund Act.
  • Drinking water system upgrade projects (e.g., drinking water treatment plants) to achieve or maintain compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act; and
  • Septic system upgrade projects using best available technology to achieve nitrogen removal on onsite sewage disposal systems consistent with the State Bay Restoration Fund Act.  

Background and Purpose

The Maryland Water Quality Financing Administration was created during the 1988 session of the Maryland General Assembly as a component unit of the State of Maryland.

The key purpose is to encourage capital investment for wastewater and drinking water projects pursuant to the Federal Clean Water Act of 1987 and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and Amendments of 1996.  During 2004, Maryland legislature established the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) that provides for a dedicated source of revenue by assessing a $30/year per equivalent dwelling unit fee to all homes and businesses connected to wastewater treatment plants and a $30/year fee to each user of an on-site septic system. The statute allocates 60% of the BRF Septic fees to MDE and 40% to the Maryland Department of Agriculture for the Cover Crop Program.

The WQFA administers two loan programs and two grant programs:

Loan Programs

  • Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund (WQRLF) was created during the 1988 session of the Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing below market rate of interest loans for water quality projects.
  • Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF) was created during the 1993 session of Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing below market rate of interest loans for drinking water projects.

Both loan programs receive federal funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and offer below market interest rate loans to eligible borrowers, while ensuring the perpetuity of the revolving funds.

Grant Programs

  • Bay Restoration (Wastewater) Fund was created during the 2004 session of Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing grants for: (1) upgrade of major wastewater treatment plants with Enhanced Nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) Removal (ENR) technologies; (2) upgrade of existing sewerage distribution systems (up to $5M/yr thru FY 2009) and (3) incremental cost of wastewater treatment plant ENR operations and maintenance (up to 10% of annual revenue or ~$6M/yr starting FY 2010).
  • Bay Restoration (Septic) Fund was created during the 2004 session of Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of providing grants and loans for the upgrade of septic systems with nitrogen removal best available technologies.

The WQFA is authorized to issue revenue bonds subject to approval of the State Board of Public Works and Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment.  Bonds issued by the WQFA do not constitute a debt or the full faith and credit pledge of the State or any political subdivision.  The bonds are paid solely from WQFA revenues as pledged under the bond indenture for each of the above Funds.

For additional information, please call (410) 537-3119.