EPA Selects Recipients for $21 Million in Technical Assistance Grants

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $21.7 million grant for selected technical assistance providers to support drinking water and sanitation systems serving small rural communities .

This technical assistance funding builds on the agency’s recent announcement of $68 million in funding available for technical assistance through the Environmental Finance Center program.

“Small towns and rural communities face significant challenges when it comes to operating and maintaining their water infrastructure which is often decades old and in urgent need of reinvestment,” said the Minister. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox in a press release.

Many of the country’s water systems serve relatively small and rural communities. About 97% of the country’s 145,000 public water systems serve less than 10,000 people. More than 80% of these systems serve less than 500 people.

Many small rural systems face unique challenges – including aging infrastructure and labor shortages – that create difficulties in providing reliable drinking water and sanitation services that meet federal and state requirements. .

Selected technical assistance providers will offer technical assistance to small public water systems to maintain safe drinking water supplies to rural communities by achieving and maintaining regulatory compliance. Technical assistance will include multi-state and circuit regional technical assistance programs, training and site visits, and training or technical assistance to diagnose and resolve system operation and compliance issues.

The EPA says it plans to award grants to the following vendors:

Rural Community Assistance Partnership

  • $11.2 million to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, including improving capacity finance and management.
  • $1 million to work with small public and on-site/decentralized wastewater treatment systems to improve water quality.
  • $850,000 to work with private well owners to help improve water quality.

National Rural Water Association

  • $7.8 million to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems to achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, including improving capacity finance and management.
  • $850,000 to work with private well owners to help improve water quality.
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