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Report Highlights Rural Water Funding Overlap
On Oct. 16, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing the fragmented nature of rural water and wastewater infrastructure programs, warning of the burden rural communities face while navigating federal procedures.
According to GAO, the responsibilities of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) concerning rural water infrastructure funding often overlap, causing communities to complete duplicate applications when applying for assistance. While GAO did not cite examples of duplicate funding awarded among water projects, it did find that communities were applying to different programs for the same project. This process creates delays and increases costs to communities since both EPA and USDA have similar, though not identical, application requirements.
The report recommends that EPA and USDA complete guidelines to help states develop uniform preliminary engineering reports and environmental analyses, as well as emphasize the importance of state-level coordination.
Article Date: 2012-10-22
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors
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