Philadelphia — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Buchanan County, Va., and nine other local governments around the nation will receive a total of $500,000 in financial and technical guidance to invest in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
EPA’s new Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program will assist the communities in developing strategies for water infrastructure that meet long-term needs. The communities selected are dedicated to increasing community sustainability by financing water infrastructure improvements.
Buchanan County, located in rural southwestern Virginia, will use its funds to plan for long-term operation, maintenance and updates to a system which serves all communities within its boundaries. The county has relied on state and federal financing and coal severance funds to build out its system to bring safe drinking water to isolated areas in the county.
“Buchanan County deserves credit for expanding its system to bring safe drinking water to residents in hard-to-reach areas,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “These funds will help the county move forward to ensure the sustainable protection of public health into the future.”
WaterCARE communities have a population less than 100,000, a need to address public health challenges, median household income considerations, and readiness to proceed with a capital improvement project. Project successes will be shared with other communities that have similar water infrastructure financing needs.
Along with Buchanan County, other WaterCARE local governments receiving a $50,000 share of the $500,000 include:
- Lawrence, Massachusetts
- The Township of South Orange Village, New Jersey
- Selma, Alabama
- Youngstown, Ohio
- Gatesville, Texas
- Johnston, Iowa
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe (Montana)
- Hoopa Valley Tribe (California)
- Haines Borough, Alaska