NACWA Leads Coalition Letter to EPA to Enhance Water Utility Workforce Development
NACWA led a water sector coalition letter this week to U.S. EPA urging that as the Agency moves forward in awarding Water Workforce Infrastructure Development Grants, utilities are given direct consideration as a potential recipient regardless of how they are locally structured.
The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) expanded eligible direct grant recipients to include public works departments or agencies; however, there have been concerns among NACWA and its members that this would exclude some public clean water utilities that are not structured as a traditional public works department.
It is NACWA’s understanding that EPA’s interpretation of a “public works department or agency” as amended under IIJA includes publicly owned treatment works and community water systems. However, the letter seeks further clarification from the Agency that public water utilities are directly eligible for an EPA workforce grant, whether part of a traditional public works department or not, and are also included as part of any collaborative efforts with other eligible partners.
NACWA appreciates all of the continued efforts of its members on this issue and will provide additional information on this program and EPA’s response as they unfold.