Cities Weigh Benefits of ‘Clean Water Trust’

A newly re-branded “Clean Water Trust” (CWT) has been given legislative authorization to offer municipalities zero-interest loans and more principal forgiveness on the loans for clean water projects.

The same authorizing legislation changed the name of the agency from the cumbersome Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust to the Clean Water Trust.

“This is about much more than a name change – the legislation also changes and greatly improves the way we can assist cities and towns that need water infrastructure improvement projects but have difficulties financing them…This will save cash-strapped communities millions of dollars every year,” said Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman who chairs the trust,.

The legislation, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick, sets forth criteria that the CWT can use to forgive principal or to issue water infrastructure loans at a rate lower than the previous floor of two percent. Criteria that may be considered include:

  • Whether the project is part of a regional wastewater management plan;
  • Whether the project includes green infrastructure;
  • Whether the project is a direct result of a disaster; and
  • Whether the project will provide water to consumers who have private wells that are contaminated.