Nov. 8, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- Fitch Ratings announced today that the Illinois Finance Authority's (IFA) Clean Water Initiative (CWI) revolving fund revenue bonds have earned the 'AAA' rating – the highest possible ranking. This news follows Standard & Poor's Ratings Service assignment of its 'AAA' rating to the bonds on Tuesday.
Under the leadership of
and Illinois Finance Authority Chairman
, the IFA, together with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, launched the CWI in
. The state program makes nearly
in low-cost loans available to local governments investing in waste water and drinking water programs.
"The Illinois Finance Authority is pleased that S&P and Fitch have recognized the strong security structure of the Clean Water Initiative Bond issue as evidenced by the Triple-A ratings assigned this week," said
, executive director of the IFA. "The Bonds will enable the IEPA to fund Clean Water Initiative projects that will improve water quality throughout the state thereby supporting economic, industrial, and commercial development for the next generation in a fiscally responsible and financially sound manner."
The IFA pooled federal and state funds and leveraged existing Illinois EPA assets into a fund of nearly
. The Clean Water Initiative is expected to support 28,000 jobs throughout
. According to the U.S. EPA,
total water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years total
, which ranks among the highest in the nation.
"Governor Quinn's Clean Water Initiative could be the difference-maker for communities all over the state who recognize the need to invest in infrastructure that will support jobs and economic development for the next century," said
, Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. "Not only can communities ensure the safety of their drinking water, they can improve their quality of life and attract families and businesses looking to put down roots in
Among the communities throughout
already seeing direct benefits from loans through the CWI is
. In April of 2013, Governor Quinn was joined by U.S. Rep
(D-Ill) and Director Bonnett to announce a
investment for a major upgrade of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency (KRMA) wastewater treatment plant. The plant currently serves a population of nearly 70,000 customers, and experts expect that to grow to more than 100,000 by the year 2030. On average more than 25 million gallons flow through the plant every day.
"This program helped us access low-cost financing, while saving taxpayers and putting people back to work," said
, Chairman of the Board of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency. "It truly is a win-win; this project preserves the longevity of the river, cleans up the drinking water supply and serves as an economic stimulus by creating thousands of jobs."
Loans originated under the Initiative are helping communities and sanitary districts across the state improve water quality, avoid expensive emergency repairs, and pre-empting sewage discharge or system malfunctions that could threaten public health and safety.