Press Release | 3 MIN READ

EPA Awards RCAP $16.4 Million to Provide Technical Assistance, Training to Small Water Systems and Private Well Owners

June 10, 2024 By RCAP

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 10, 2024) – The Rural Community Assistance Partnership Incorporated (RCAP) has been awarded $16.4 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist private well owners and small water systems in maintaining compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act including lead service line inventories, and PFAS testing and mitigation. As a designated national Environmental Finance Center (EFC), RCAP has been assisting underserved communities in identifying sustainable infrastructure solutions and advancing equitable health and environmental safeguards.

RCAP was awarded $13 million to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems to ensure they remain in compliance with drinking water standards including a focus on lead remediation and cybersecurity, a newer and potentially costly vulnerability. RCAP was also awarded an additional $3.4 million to assist private well owners in improving water quality including increased testing for PFAS contamination.

“RCAP has over 50 years of experience working in rural and Tribal communities, and has already been leading the way on lead service line inventories and remediation, and ensuring communities have safe drinking water,” said Olga Morales Pate, RCAP Chief Executive Officer. “Cybersecurity is a growing threat no matter how accessible or remote your location is. Cyber defense is even more critical for small water systems that do not have the resources of large local or county governments to fall back on after a breach. We believe in building the human infrastructure in addition to the physical infrastructure in communities, and cybersecurity is an increasingly important consideration for utility leaders.”

EPA in April announced national PFAS standards, which RCAP supported as rural communities are not exempt from the risks posed by these forever chemicals.

“PFAS is a burgeoning issue and one that will take on increasing importance with recent regulatory moves,” said Sarah Buck, RCAP Chief Programs Officer. “We are eager to start building the capacity of small systems and private well owners to identify and remove these toxins so vulnerable populations are protected, and small systems remain in compliance as standards tighten.”

RCAP has received EPA funding for over 30 years and has a strong record of completing all administrative and reporting requirements. During the past three years, EPA has awarded RCAP eight assistance agreements totaling over $34 million. RCAP has consistently delivered on previous EPA agreements, surpassing deliverable goals, and achieving outcomes, including on-time and high-quality reporting that meets EPA requirements.

RCAP’s unparalleled expertise, nationwide reach, and deep relationships with rural and Tribal community stakeholders make them the ideal partner to deliver this critical assistance.

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About RCAP
RCAP is a national non-profit network providing opportunity, assistance, and practical guidance to small communities in all fifty states, the U.S. territories, and on Tribal lands to ensure access to safe drinking water, sanitary waste disposal, and economic prosperity for rural America. RCAP and its more than 350 technical assistance providers work together with rural communities and partners across the country to elevate rural voices and build long-term local capacity to improve quality of life, starting at the tap.

Media Contact:
Seth Johnson
Senior Communications Manager
[email protected]