Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Illinois reauthorizes EPA program to provide $15M annually to assist rural water drinking systems

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) last week announced a new law that "reauthorizes $15 million each year through 2020 for the Environmental Protection Agency’s technical assistance program for small, public water systems and requires EPA to target the training and technical assistance funds appropriated by Congress to programs most beneficial to small and rural communities," states a release from Shimkus.

Shimkus said: "A major source of financial stress for small and rural drinking water supply systems is compliance with EPA regulations. These communities need access to technical professionals to help find the most cost-effective way to identify repair and replacement options for their systems and to comply with EPA standards.”

Frank Dunmire, executive direct or of the Rural Water Association, which represents more than 800 small communities, water districts and co-ops throughout the state, said: “Almost all of the more than 3,500 community water supplies in Illinois are dependent on on-site technical assistance and training while they struggle with complying with the ever-growing list of EPA regulations. It is through this training and on-site assistance that many communities avoid violations and/or hefty fines.”

EPA states: "More than 97 percent of the nation’s 156,000 public water systems are small systems, meaning they serve 10,000 or fewer people. A public water system (PWS) is a system that provides water for human consumption to at least 25 people or 15 service connections."

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