Washington, DC (July 20, 2018) –
As the United States Congress moves toward conference negotiations regarding the five-year comprehensive Farm Bill, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc. (RCAP) joined the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), the Water Quality Association (WQA), and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) in sending a letter of support to the Senate Agriculture Committee Leadership advocating for programs focused on decentralized water systems.
The letter written by four national organizations urges the Farm Bill Conference Committee to include “Section 6108 Rural decentralized water systems” in the Rural Development Title of the Senate-passed Farm Bill for their final version. The coalition of support behind this provision includes rural technical assistance providers, associates, environmental organizations, private well, and onsite decentralized water treatment and wastewater professionals.
The section modernizes and reauthorizes much-needed funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s successful Household Water Well System Grant Program. The program includes assistance to low-and-moderate-income households in rural areas to protect their drinking water and ensure water quality to protect these individuals’ health.
The bipartisan provision would address the issues faced by more than 15 million private wells across the country providing drinking water to over 47 million Americans. Additionally, millions lack adequate wastewater treatment, with hundreds of thousand without wastewater system at all. Ted Stiger, Director of Government Relations and Policy for RCAP says, “This provision will allow rural homeowners to receive the much-needed financing they require to upgrade their water wells, treatment technology, and on-site wastewater systems. Without this program, homeowners would not have access to assistance from qualified non-profits to provide routine follow-up and maintenance tips to homeowners.”
Section 6108 will play an essential role in protecting public health and the vitality of rural communities across the country. RCAP and its partners in ensuring water quality urge the Farm Bill Conference Committee to include Section 6108 in the Farm Bill so this problem can begin to be solved.
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 of rural America. To learn more about RCAP, visit www.rcap.org.
Media Contact: Spenser Wempe
Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc.