About Us

National Programs

RCAP is a national network of non-profit organizations working to provide technical assistance, training, resources, and support to rural communities across the United States, tribal lands, and U.S. territories. Federal programs and organizational interests are maintained in the national office in Washington D.C. while state and regional programs and field work are managed through six regional offices. RCAP field staff live and work in the states and communities RCAP serves.

RCAP Map

Safe Drinking Water Compliance

The RCAP National Office manages a federal program through U.S. EPA to provide training and technical assistance for small drinking water systems to achieve and maintain compliance through assessing and addressing deficiencies.

The project, which addresses EPA National Priority Area 1, provides compliance-based, capacity-building training and technical assistance for operators, board members, and managers of tribal and non-tribal small community and non-community water systems with the objective of protecting human health by reducing exposure to contaminants in drinking water. The project targets small public water systems (those serving populations of fewer than 10,000 people). RCAP has partnered with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), University of Illinois (UI), Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA), and United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET). In addition to traditional training and technical assistance activities, the unique aspects of the RCAP approach include an analysis of drinking water system failures and the root causes of those failures and a way of reaching remote water systems through “Distance Assistance.”

Training & Technical Assistance for Small Wastewater Systems

The RCAP National Office manages a federal program through U.S. EPA to provide training and technical assistance to small community and onsite/decentralized wastewater systems to help improve water quality and protect public health.

Through direct funding from U.S. EPA, RCAP provides training and technical assistance in areas such as training on long
term sustainability and effectiveness of small systems and decentralized systems, evaluation of treatment and/or infrastructure alternatives, training on preliminary engineering evaluations, assessments of management approaches and their effectiveness, training on improved water and energy efficiency, developing appropriate rate structures, education of local officials, identification of funding alternatives, and/or use of green infrastructure among other activities.

Training and Technical Assistance for Private Well Owners

The RCAP National Office manages a U.S. EPA program to provide training and technical assistance for private well owners to help improve water quality.

Approximately 42 million Americans receive their drinking water from private wells. Protection of private wells does not fall under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), so these well owners often face challenges including where to go or whom to contact for good and timely information and technical assistance on all aspects of private well ownership, including well construction, operation, maintenance, testing, local and state health requirements as well as other relevant regulations or programs, local groundwater quality concerns, and well emergency contacts and procedures.

Under EPA National Priority Area 4, RCAP has partnered with the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois (UI) to provide training and technical assistance to owners and managers of private drinking water wells. The objective is to protect the quality of water in private drinking water wells and to protect water quality by minimizing contamination via drinking water wells. Technical assistance is being provided on-site as well as through phone and electronic communications. Training for private well owners is being accomplished through multimedia learning, face-to-face presentations, and webinars.

Technitrain

The RCAP National Office manages a federal program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for water and waste disposal technical assistance and training.

The “Technitrain” program helps to protect public health and foster economic development in targeted rural communities throughout the United States and its territories by providing onsite, community-specific technical assistance and training that: identifies and evaluates solutions to water and waste disposal problems, assists communities in preparing funding applications for their water and waste projects, and improves operation and maintenance of existing water and waste-disposal facilities.

This program is part of RCAP’s overall mission of working with small, rural communities to increase local capacity. With an increased ability to tackle their own challenges, communities can better manage their assets, maintain compliance with state and federal water and wastewater regulations, work toward sustainable operations, and adhere to USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) loan and grant procedures and requirements before, during, and after a construction project.

Solid Waste

The RCAP National Office manages the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Solid Waste Management Program.

RCAP’s Solid Waste Program helps reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources through technical assistance and training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites. Program activities include:

  • evaluating current landfill conditions to identify threats to water resources.
  • providing technical assistance or training to enhance the operation and maintenance of active landfills.
  • provide technical assistance or training to help communities reduce the amount of solid waste coming into a landfill.
  • providing technical assistance or training to prepare for closure and future use of a landfill site.

Colonias

The RCAP National Office manages a federal program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for water and waste disposal technical assistance and training for communities along the U.S./Mexico Border.

The Colonias program helps to protect public health and foster economic development in targeted communities along the United States/Mexico border by providing onsite, community-specific technical assistance and training that: identifies and evaluates solutions to water and waste disposal problems, assists communities in preparing funding applications for their water and waste projects, and improves operation and maintenance of existing water and waste-disposal facilities.

This program is part of RCAP’s overall mission of working with small, rural communities to increase local capacity. With an increased ability to tackle their own challenges, communities can better manage their assets, maintain compliance with state and federal water and wastewater regulations, work toward sustainable operations, and adhere to USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) loan and grant procedures and requirements before, during, and after a construction project.

Tribal Technitrain

The RCAP National Office manages a federal program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for water and waste disposal technical assistance and training for tribal communities.

The “Technitrain” program helps to protect public health and foster economic development in targeted tribal communities throughout the United States and its territories by providing onsite, community-specific technical assistance and training that: identifies and evaluates solutions to water and waste disposal problems, assists tribal communities in preparing funding applications for their water and waste projects, and improves operation and maintenance of existing water and waste-disposal facilities.

This program is part of RCAP’s overall mission of working with small, rural communities to increase local capacity. With an increased ability to tackle their own challenges, communities can better manage their assets, maintain compliance with state and federal water and wastewater regulations, work toward sustainable operations, and adhere to USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) loan and grant procedures and requirements before, during, and after a construction project.

Disaster Recovery

More Information Coming Soon.

Economic Development

The Rural Economic Development Innovation Initiative (REDI) is a program led by the RCAP National Office.

An initiative funded by USDA’s Rural Development Innovation Center created RCAP’s REDI project. The goal of this initiative is to grow rural economies by building upon their local assets. The REDI map can be found here.

The project involves partnering with the network’s six regional organizations and the existing WealthWorks Hubs. The WealthWorks Hubs include RCAC (RCAP’s Western Region) and Communities Unlimited (RCAP’s Southern Region), as well as the NADO Research Foundation and the Aspen Institute. Through these partnerships, REDI assists communities in implementing an economic development model, WealthWorks, and creating actionable plans.

WealthWorks is a community-centered model that uses a value chain approach to connect the community’s assets to real market demand resulting in lasting livelihoods. The focus is on supporting local ownership and building on existing assets to strengthen and grow the local economy.

RCAP’s REDI Project explores the opportunity and feasibility to institutionalize the WealthWorks model throughout the United States.

National RCAP Priorities:

In addition to managing federal programs, the RCAP National Office works to maintain and grow the work of the RCAP Network to better support small towns, main streets, and rural communities across the United States. The RCAP National Office helps ensure that communities in Texas may benefit from the expertise of RCAP staff in Missouri, that technical knowledge gained in Deleware can be useful in Alaska, and that innovation in Puerto Rico can be applied in Ohio. Because of RCAP's grassroots model, the RCAP National Office prioritizes supporting field staff and strives to elevate their work and showcase their talents.

  • Develop Policy and Position Papers

  • Represent RCAP Before Federal Agencies and Congress

  • Coordinate Other Stakeholders to Support RCAP Programs

  • Partner with Other Organization on Issues Concerning Rural Communities

  • Advocate for Rural and Small Communities in the U.S.

  • Conduct Applied Research

  • Share Knowledge and Best Practices

  • Promote the Importance of Sustainability, Public Health, and Economic Viability

  • Create Visibility for the Work of the RCAP Regional Partners

  • Serve on Governmental and Non-Governmental Working Groups and Committees

  • Host Events for Continuing Education and Professional Development

The RCAP Regional Partners

Each regional RCAP partner is an independent non-profit organization. Some regional organizations may offer services beyond the RCAP federal programs such as low-interest lending, housing assistance, community and economic development, etc. Click on each region to learn more about what specific services they offer, or contact us to find out what assistance is available in your community or state.

The Western RCAP, RCAC

Serving Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

The Midwestern RCAP, MAP

Serving Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Southern RCAP, Communities Unlimited

Serving Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alabama.

The Great Lakes RCAP, WSOS Community Action

Serving Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The Southeastern RCAP, SERCAP

Serving Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

The Northeast RCAP, RCAP Solutions

Serving all six New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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