EPA Announces $3.65 Million Grant to Rural Community Assistance Partnership to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water

Oct. 24, 2022
Projects will advance goals of Biden-Harris administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan; grant funding delivers on President’s Justice40 Initiative.

EPA Press Release

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the projects selected to receive over $30 million in grant funding under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, including $3.65 million to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP). This grant funding, and additional funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help make rapid progress on the goal of addressing lead and removing lead pipes across the country.

“A pillar of our work at EPA is ensuring that every person in every community has safe drinking water,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “The science on lead is settled – there is no safe level of exposure. This grant funding will help reduce exposure to lead in drinking water and should be used to support underserved communities that are most at risk for exposure.”

“Region 7 is a rural region and this grant to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership is an important way EPA is investing in reducing childhood lead exposure in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister.

“RCAP plays a key role in fostering the technical, managerial, and financial capacity for our nation’s small water systems,” said Olga Morales-Pate, CEO of RCAP. “We are pleased to lead and coordinate this project to help small water systems, rural schools, and child care centers overcome systemic lead-related challenges, and we thank EPA for investing in our rural infrastructure and communities.”

Other selected projects are:

  • National Priority Area 1 – Reduction of Lead Exposure in the Nation’s Drinking Water Systems through Infrastructure and Treatment Improvements
  • City of Trenton, New Jersey - $5,530,000
  • City of Fall River, Maine - $10,000,000
  • Detroit, Michigan, Water and Sewerage Dept. - $5,000,000
  • National Priority Area 2 – Reduction of Children’s Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities
  • Hawaii Dept. of Health - $2,000,000
  • School District of Philadelphia - $4,999,658
  • These selected projects will assist disadvantaged communities and schools with removing sources of lead in drinking water. These projects will work to further the goals of the Biden-Harris administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, in addition to the Justice40 Initiative, which seeks to deliver 40% of benefits from certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities in need.

Learn more about this grant and EPA’s WIIN grant programs.

Background

Lead poses serious health risks to both children and adults – children are especially vulnerable. Low-income and other historically underserved communities typically experience high levels of lead in their drinking water because they are disproportionately served by lead service lines. The six new projects selected across the country will receive grant funding under the WIIN Act through the Reducing Lead in Drinking Water grant program.

To date, over 2,400 lead service line replacements have been completed as a result of support from that grant program.

In addition to this announcement of funding availability, the Reducing Lead in Drinking Water WIIN grant program also awarded over $1 million in grant awards toward tribal lead reduction projects coordinated through interagency agreements between Indian Health Services and EPA. Additionally, EPA is working with states, tribes, and territories to award additional grant funding through EPA’s two other drinking water grant programs established by WIIN – the Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program and the Small, Underserved and Disadvantaged Communities (SUDC) Grant.

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