Wastewater Problems in Impoverished, Rural Communities to Undergo Rehabilitation Through New Law, Biden Administration Announced

Photo Credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

An additional program launched by the Biden administration is intended to address the wastewater problems in underdeveloped rural areas. There are health issues in certain communities as a result of the situation.

Under the direction of the US Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency, the Wastewater Access Gap Community Initiative by Closing America will be unveiled in Lowndes County, Alabama, by a number of officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, EPA Administrator Michael Reagan, and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.

The rural community, which is home to the majority of Black Americans, has long suffered from poor wastewater conditions and inefficient sewage disposal. The neighborhood is located between Selma and Montgomery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, community wastewater systems are critical in the prevention of disease, bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

“President Biden has been clear — we cannot leave any community behind as we rebuild America’s infrastructure with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said infrastructure coordinator Landrieu.

“This includes rural and Tribal communities who for too long have felt forgotten,” the coordinator added.

Given the presence of several “people who have been going without the basics,” Vilsack said that “access to modern, reliable wastewater infrastructure is a necessity.”

In order to “narrow the gap” with wealthier areas, the strategy will let “communities obtain money and receive technical assistance to modernize wastewater infrastructure.”

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Government’s chance to connect with target communities

The project will also allow authorities to reach out to communities and teach them the necessary skills for improving and maintaining the health of their wastewater systems. Authorities also stated that wastewater solution plans and funding would be provided to the targeted communities and tribes.

The 11 target localities will team up with the agencies to maximize technical and financial skills to make progress in alleviating wastewater conditions in their particular places.

The following are the areas targeted by the government:

Target areas include:

  • Greene County, Alabama;
  • Harlan County, Kentucky;
  • Halifax and Duplin counties in North Carolina;
  • Raleigh and McDowell counties in West Virginia;
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona;
  • Doña Ana County and Santo Domino Pueblo in New Mexico; and
  • Bolivar County in Mississippi.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act will provide $55 billion to communities to improve their water infrastructures. One of the primary concerns is to replace service lines so that communities can get clean drinking water, as well as stormwater and wastewater.

According to the statute, $11 billion will also be appropriated as loans and grants under the Clear Water State Revolving Fund, enabling municipalities to use these funds to tackle the unique issues with the communities’ water systems.

Concerns over garbage disposal and management are becoming more and more of a problem for Lowndes County citizens. Due to a lack of funding, the neighborhood relies on individual septic tanks instead of modern sewer infrastructure.

Fortunately, organizations such as the Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program assist low-income families in addressing their disposal system. According to the group’s website, the USDA grant allows them to assist families in the community with the installation of septic systems.

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Other households that did not receive help and support found viable alternatives, such as directly piping the line from the toilet to the ground.

Sherry Bradley of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Environmental Services agreed that resources for treating the issues are sparse, and the mitigation techniques proposed by the communities are merely temporary fixes.

“It must be the right person to install these systems that know what they’re doing; that’s one reason I decided to step out of my regulatory role and help install onsite systems,” Bradly said.

“I’ve seen a lot of onsite failures because someone’s brother or neighbor installed a system. Constant training of the homeowner is also needed,” she added.

Source: CNN


Opinions expressed by US Business News contributors are their own.

Ivan Ryan

Posted by Ivan Ryan

Ivan is a digital marketer with an interest in business. He loves reading self-help books and memoirs of successful people in business.

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