Communities across the country face enormous challenges in providing safe drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater services to their residents. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided an unprecedented infusion of capital to protect human health and the environment by improving water and wastewater infrastructure. However, many communities lack the resources to access this funding.
ERG is helping the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency develop and deploy technical assistance programs to help communities, particularly underserved communities, leverage federal infrastructure programs to address water and wastewater infrastructure needs. We are working with EPA to develop a free technical assistance program that connects communities and provides them with resources to help them identify water and wastewater challenges; develop plans; build technical, financial, and managerial capacity; and identify and access water infrastructure funding. We are also supporting EPA’s Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap Community Initiative—in partnership with the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and West Virginia, as well as the tribal nations of Santo Domingo Pueblo and San Carlos Apache—to leverage technical assistance resources to help historically underserved communities identify, and pursue, federal funding opportunities to address their wastewater needs. Through a pilot of this program, ERG is providing support to help 11 communities conduct a wastewater assessment, develop a solutions plan, identify funding opportunities, and build long-term capacity to operate and maintain the planned infrastructure.