Rural Assistance Funding Bill Heads to President’s Desk

On Monday, the House passed the Grassroots Rural and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act to reauthorize funding for technical assistance to small drinking water systems.  The measure amends SDWA §1442(e) to extend funding authorizations through FY 2020.  The bill originated in the Senate as S 611 and was passed in June.  It now heads to the President’s desk where a signature is expected.  One new element was added to the SDWA section that allows EPA to enter into cooperative agreements directly with nonprofit training organizations to provide the assistance.  The new language reads:

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator may use amounts made available to carry out this section to provide grants or cooperative agreements to nonprofit organizations that provide to small public water systems onsite technical assistance, circuit-rider technical assistance programs, multistate, regional technical assistance programs, onsite and regional training, assistance with implementing source water protection plans, and assistance with implementing monitoring plans, rules, regulations, and water security enhancements.”