Rural Utilities Can't Get EPA Funds. Can They Survive?


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Last year's infrastructure bill gave the EPA a deluge of cash to hand out to water utilities for infrastructure upgrades. But some of the smallest and neediest water utilities in the country may not see much, if any, of it.

There are thousands of struggling water systems, many in remote, rural areas, that serve just a few hundred people. Many are in the Catch-22 situation of desperately needing federal money, but simply not having enough expertise and manpower to apply for it.

On today's episode of Parts Per Billion, our environmental law podcast, reporter Bobby Magill talks about his recent trip to New Mexico to speak to some of these small utilities. He says some are acknowledging their limitations and partnering with larger nearby utilities—even though this can mean a painful loss of local control.

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