The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the availability of $17.7 million in grant funding for technical assistance and training providers to support small drinking water and wastewater systems that are often located in rural communities across the U.S. EPA’s funding will improve public health and environmental protection by helping to ensure drinking water in these communities is safe and that wastewater is treated before it is responsibly returned to the environment.
“One of EPA’s top priorities is ensuring that Americans have safe drinking water, regardless of their ZIP code,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “The Trump administration is helping small water systems – especially those in rural areas – get the training and technical assistance they need to support their communities.”
Small water systems often face unique financial and operational challenges, including aging infrastructure, workforce shortages, increasing costs and declining rate bases. EPA’s grant funding will be used by nonprofit organizations to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems, small wastewater systems, and private well owners across the country. Specifically, funding will help small systems achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act and improve operational performance. It will also help inform private drinking water well owners about strategies to continue protecting their drinking water supply.
Eligible applicants for this competitive agreement are nonprofit organizations, nonprofit private universities and colleges, and public institutions of higher education. The application period for these competitive grants is now open. Questions about applying for EPA funding for training and technical assistance must be received by Feb. 2, 2021, and applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 12. EPA expects to award these cooperative agreements by summer 2021, and encourages all eligible organizations who have an interest in these projects to apply.
For more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity.