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Arkansas receives $18 million from EPA to address contaminants in drinking water

The grant is aimed at promoting access to safe and clean water in small, rural and disadvantaged communities.

ARKANSAS, USA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $199,701,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants like Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water across five states.

The grant is aimed at promoting access to safe and clean water in small, rural, and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies, according to EPA's press release.

Funds will be made available to communities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas through EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program. 

The breakdown of funding for each state is listed below:

  • Arkansas -  $18,914,000
  • Louisiana - $26,300,000
  • New Mexico - $18,914,000
  • Oklahoma - $20,877,000
  • Texas - $114,696,000

“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. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $5 billion over five years to help communities that are at risk of PFAS contamination reduce PFAS in drinking water. 

EPA announced the funds as part of an allotment of $2 billion to states and territories that can be used to prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and to conduct water quality testing.

“Clean water access is a key component to a healthy nation; without it we risk endangering public health and economic growth,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance“As leaders in environmental quality, we must work with local and state agencies to ensure the funding addresses all communities, especially those at highest risk.” 

Along with the grant, EPA is also releasing the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Implementation document. This will provide states and communities with the information necessary to use the funding to address local water quality and public health challenges. 

The EPA says these grants will enable communities to improve local water infrastructure and reduce emerging contaminants in drinking water by implementing solutions such as installing necessary treatment solutions. 

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