RCAP Applauds Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021
Washington, D.C. (November 8, 2021) — Today, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) applauds the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). We especially commend the creation of several new resources and investments that provide communities access to critical technical assistance and training needed for improving drinking and wastewater programs and infrastructure. Also, increased funding for both the Drinking Water, and Clean Water State Revolving Funds – including provisions for loan forgiveness, and decreased non-federal cost matching requirements – will allow many more small systems to benefit from this federal funding.
RCAP CEO Nathan Ohle says, “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a critical step towards addressing the needs of our rural communities: clean, safe, reliable and affordable drinking and wastewater systems. We look forward to continuing to partner with our legislators and communities to ensure equitable and efficient implementation of this legislation’s funding.”
Additionally, RCAP commends Congress in creating a new grant program in the IIJA to provide funding to low- and moderate-income households through a qualified nonprofit to address septic and wastewater challenges. This new program is flexible in allowing solutions that best fit the needs of the household, geography, and community by allowing grants to be used for the construction, repair, or replacement of a decentralized wastewater system, connection to a publicly owned treatment works, or the installation of a larger decentralized wastewater system that can provide treatment to two or more households.
Finally, we appreciate the inclusion of the first nationwide pilot program for low-income water customer assistance, building on the $1.1 billion in emergency funding included in COVID-19 response legislation. While this funding and the creation of the pilot program will not meet the full expanse of need – estimated to be over $8 billion – it is a step in the right direction.
RCAP looks forward to working with Congress and federal agencies as they work to fully implement the IIJA into law.
The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) is a national non-profit network providing opportunity, assistance, and practical guidance to small communities in all fifty states, U.S. territories, and tribal lands to ensure access to safe drinking water, sanitary wastewater disposal, and economic prosperity for all rural America. To learn more about RCAP, visit www.rcap.org.