ASDWA Unveils New Resource for Accessing State Definitions for Disadvantaged Communities under SDWA

ASDWA is excited to announce the launch of its new Environmental Justice webpage. The webpage includes ASDWA’s environmental justice strategy, developed by ASDWA’s members and staff and will guide the association’s work in the future, as well as a variety of resources related to environmental justice and drinking water.

Most notably, ASDWA staff worked with members to include a table that provides the text definition of a disadvantaged community for each state, along with the link to where that definition can be found (Intended Use Plans, regulations, statute, or policy). Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, states are responsible for defining what constitutes a disadvantaged community. States use these definitions to make determinations and help prioritize the funds for drinking water infrastructure that are distributed to communities and water systems through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs. The passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its requirements for providing funding to these communities has prompted many states to evaluate and redefine what constitutes a disadvantaged community.

Additionally, the table includes links to each state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program and any additional environmental justice resources available. Users can search and filter definitions by terms. For example, searching for “population” will limit definitions to only those that include that qualifier. The table can also be sorted by column and exported, or you can download a formatted version. ASDWA is planning to keep this table as updated as possible as states move to change their definitions.

ASDWA hopes this will become a helpful tool and resource for states and all those working in the drinking water sector.