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EPA announces recipients of $12 m in grants to support small, rural, and tribal wastewater systems

  • EPA announces recipients of $12 m in grants to support small, rural, and tribal wastewater systems

About the entity

United States Environmental Protection Agency. The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

 Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selections for a new $12 million grant program to provide training and technical assistance to small, rural, and Tribal wastewater systems. This funding will help reduce pollution, protect water quality, and improve public health in struggling communities across the country.

“EPA is excited to partner with these organizations to strengthen wastewater management practices,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Funding will help build the technical, financial, and managerial capacity of small, rural, and Tribal wastewater systems that provide essential services that benefit residents and protect the environment.”

“It’s great to see EPA’s commitment to improving wastewater systems in disadvantaged communities,” said Senator Tom Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Too many Americans still can’t flush their toilets and have the peace of mind that the wastewater from their homes will be processed in a way that many of us expect. These grants are direct infrastructure investments in small, rural, and Tribal communities, who too often get left behind.”

EPA’s Fiscal Year 2020 appropriation directed the agency to competitively award $12 million for projects to provide training and technical assistance for small, rural, and Tribal wastewater systems and onsite septic systems. This new grant program complements EPA funded technical assistance activities for drinking water utilities. EPA is announcing the selected recipients for the 2020 Training and Technical Assistance Grant for Small Wastewater Utility Systems who will each receive $4 million in funding:

  • Rural Community Assistance Partnership.
  • National Rural Water Association.
  • University of New Mexico / Environmental Finance Center Network.

EPA anticipates that it will make awards to these three recipients once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

Training and tools to improve small wastewater system operations and management practices promote sustainability and support EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment. These grants will provide training and technical assistance for rural, small, and Tribal publicly owned wastewater treatment works and decentralized wastewater treatment systems for the prevention, reduction, and elimination of pollution. The areas of assistance include asset management, capital improvement planning, fiscal planning and rate setting, managerial leadership, funding coordination, and achieving compliance with the Clean Water Act.


On March 15, 2021, EPA announced the Request for Applications (RFA) for the "2020 Training and Technical Assistance for Wastewater Treatment Works for the Prevention, Reduction, and Elimination of Pollution” (EPA-OW-OWM-20-02). The period for submitting applications ended on May 17, 2021. Eligible applicants were public and private nonprofit organizations, that are qualified and experienced in providing on-site training and technical assistance to small publicly owned treatment works and onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment systems.

For more information visit EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management’s Technical Assistance for Treatment Works here.

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