Sneak Preview: EPA Amends Checklists To Prioritize State Revolving Fund Projects

February 9, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Environmental Protection Agency officials plan to update the agency’s checklists by the end of March to help staff ensure that states are reaching out to communities that currently are not benefiting from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program.

The DWSRF program offers public water systems low-cost loans under the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide safe drinking water and improve public health, especially in economically struggling communities with serious health problems. A recent audit by the EPA Office of Inspector General, however, found that EPA’s Office of Water has not been using enough data and tools to identify noncompliant systems that may benefit from DWSRF funding.

“DWSRF may never reach some communities with the highest number of health-based drinking water violations because these communities have no contact with the state DWSRF office and are not aware of the program; they do not have the technical, managerial or financial capacity; or they cannot afford a loan,” the OIG said. It did acknowledge that some communities with the highest number of health-based violations are resolving their noncompliance with Safe Water Drinking Act requirements in other ways, such as consolidation with other systems, enforcement actions, technical assistance or other funding sources.

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