Specialist in Resources and Environmental Policy
The Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act impose requirements regarding drinking water quality and wastewater treatment in rural areas. Approximately 27% of the U.S. population lives in areas defined by the Census Bureau as rural. Many rural communities need to complete water and waste disposal projects to improve the public health and environmental conditions of their citizens. Funding needs are high (at least $50 billion, according to EPA surveys). Several federal programs assist rural communities in meeting these requirements. In dollar terms, the largest are administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, but they do not focus solely on rural areas. The Department of Agriculture's grant and loan programs support significant financial activity and are directed solely at rural areas. Meeting infrastructure funding needs of rural areas efficiently and effectively is likely to remain an issue of considerable congressional interest.
Date of Report: December 30, 2009
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: 98-64
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010