Boost for Alabama Wastewater Infrastructure and other Rural Communities

August 11, 2022
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Last week in Lowndes County, Alabama, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a significant boost for Alabama wastewater infrastructure along with the wastewater infrastructure in other select rural communities across the U.S.

The program will be known as Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap Community Initiative and is being deemed a “roadmap to scale up efforts in the rest of the country.”

The EPA, USDA, the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and West Virginia, and Tribes will jointly leverage technical assistance resources to help historically underserved communities identify and pursue federal funding for this goal.

Michael S. Regan, EPA Administrator, said, “By partnering with USDA, states, and leveraging funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is working to restore dignity and opportunity to rural communities… across the country.”

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan - picture appearing with quote relating to Alabama wastewater infrastructure initiative.

Alabama Wastewater Infrastructure Among the Starting Points

U.S. Representative Terri Sewell, Alabama, said, “This joint initiative between the EPA and USDA will be instrumental in our fight to improve (Alabama) wastewater infrastructure for our most underserved communities.”

The program will commence in:

  • Lowndes County and Green County, Alabama;
  • Bolivar County, Mississippi;
  • Doña Ana County, New Mexico;
  • Duplin County and Halifax County, North Carolina;
  • Harlan County, Kentucky;
  • McDowell County and Raleigh County, West Virginia;
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe, Arizona; and,
  • Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico

Wastewater Infrastructure: Historically Out of Sight AND Out of Mind

When drivers on their daily commutes are shaken and rattled by potholes on the streets and highways, they remain acutely aware of transportation infrastructure. But wastewater infrastructure is quietly used minute by minute throughout the day. Out of sight and out of mind, few people give wastewater infrastructure a second thought … as long as it functions! The needs and complexities of safe, affordable, and reliable wastewater management only become top-of-mind when aging or inadequate systems fail.

“This new EPA/USDA initiative to provide technical assistance to one of our Mississippi communities,” said Executive Director of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Chris Wells, “will build upon MDEQ’s previous and continued efforts to assist Bolivar County and their consulting engineers throughout the process of securing Clean Water State Revolving Fund funding (CWSRF), if needed, for water pollution control projects.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia, observed, “Investing in reliable wastewater infrastructure is key to improving the health and wellbeing of our residents and creating the foundation for economic growth,” while Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear called the initiative “a basic human right.”

#ReadMore from Visibility News here: Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects Receive Government Funding


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