The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $2 billion in grants for states and rural communities to address Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and other emerging contaminants in drinking water across the country.
Funding will be available to communities through grants from the EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program. The program's goal is to "promote access to safe and clean water in small, rural, and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies."
“Too many American communities, especially those that are small, rural, or underserved, are suffering from exposure to PFAS and other harmful contaminants in their drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “We are investing in America and providing billions of dollars to strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure while safeguarding people’s health and boosting local economies. These grants build on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and will help protect our smallest and most vulnerable communities from these persistent and dangerous chemicals.”
The investments into clean drinking water come as a result of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests $5 billion over five years to help communities particularly impacted by PFAS contamination. The initial $2 billion in funding will prioritize water treatment and infrastructure and source water treatment of said pollutants.
The EPA has also released the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Implementation document. The document provides communities with important information regarding the funding used to address local water quality and other public health challenges.
PFAS are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industrial and consumer products. The lingering chemicals can be found in many areas of our environment such as:
- Drinking water
- Soil and water near waste sites
- Production facilities that produce or use PFAS (i.e. chrome plating, electronics, and some textile processes)
- Food (via fish or livestock exposed to PFAS)
- Household products
Research has show that exposure to high levels of certain PFAS may lead to adverse health outcomes according to the EPA. However, that research is still ongoing to understand how different levels of exposure might affect health outcomes. You can learn more about the health effects of PFAS on the EPA's website.
Some of the states and communities receiving the initial funding to combat PFAS and other contaminants include Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska. You can learn more about PFAS and what other agencies are doing to combat the rise of PFAS pollution in our country's environment on The White House's website.
SitePro partners with cities and rural communities of all sizes to manage their water infrastructure. If you have any questions about how to utilize SitePro to address water quality issues, and how to use grants like this to pay for updated infrastructure technologies, give us a call at 806-687-5326."