EPA opens $18 million fund for technical assistance for rural, tribal wastewater improvements

LENEXA, KAN. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced up to $18 million in available federal funding to build the pipeline of Technical Assistance (TA) providers that can serve rural, small and Tribal municipalities through the Clean Water Act Prevention, Reduction, and Elimination of Pollution Grant Program.

This investment delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 initiative and will support TA providers to help utilities improve vital wastewater management that is essential to healthy communities. This funding will also elevate impact from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding available to small, rural, and Tribal communities.

“All communities need clean and safe water and EPA is committed to helping small, rural, and Tribal communities meet that need,” Radhika Fox, EPA assistant administrator for water, said. “The agency is pursuing multiple approaches to help, including $18 million in grant funding that can be used to help unlock investments through the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

This grant program highlights EPA’s priorities to advance equity, address climate change, and to help bridge the gap between community needs and federal funding. EPA is seeking applications from organizations with experience delivering results-oriented technical assistance to rural, small, and Tribal publicly owned wastewater systems and decentralized wastewater treatment systems.

Once selected, grantees will provide technical assistance in the following areas:

  • Acquisition of financing and funding;
  • Protection of water quality and compliance assistance;
  • Tribal wastewater systems;
  • Decentralized wastewater systems; and
  • Lagoon wastewater systems.

By prioritizing investment and technical assistance in small, rural, and Tribal systems, EPA is taking another step to fulfill the Biden Administration’s commitment to help all communities benefit from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This action also furthers the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative. This initiative intends to ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40% of benefits from certain investments, including water and wastewater infrastructure, to underserved communities.

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