The Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust announced the approval of more than $6 million in need-based principal forgiveness grants on 20 water infrastructure loans from across the state.

The grants, which the state administers and the federal government funds, were awarded on a competitive basis to cities and towns most in need of financial assistance associated with loan payments to the trust.

Because of the reduction of loan principal funded by the grants, affected communities will see their biannual loan payments reduced.

"This funding frees-up additional capital to go to other important local priorities, such as transportation infrastructure, education, and public safety," said state Treasurer Steven Grossman, who also serves as chairman of the trust.

The loans were originated to pay for municipal water projects such as upgrades to water treatment facilities and storm water and sewer improvement projects.

The $6 million in loan forgiveness is associated with a total original loan amount of $98 million, an overall principal reduction of 6%.

The trust lends financial assistance to the commonwealth under the State Revolving Fund program by providing subsidized loans to cities and towns for clean water and drinking water infrastructure development. Since its establishment in 1989, the trust has loaned roughly $6 billion to improve and maintain water quality.

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