You Are Invited – ABC Continuing Ed Webinar

Join ABC next month for an instructional webinar and live demonstration of their newly released Continuing Education Review (CER) Service.

DATE:  Wednesday, July 18

TIME:  1:00-2:00pm (eastern)

REGISTER:  https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/925071190

The webinar will describe the benefits to members and trainers and include a live demonstration of the CER online database. Hear from ABC’s Continuing Education Review Program Chair Chris Wisniewski and from William Morrison, ABC’s Director of Finance and Administration, as they discuss the Continuing Education Review Program.

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EPA Posts More Workforce Factsheets

As part of the products from the EPA Workforce Workgroup, EPA has just published additional factsheets highlighting internships and training programs for operators.

These factsheets describe training programs, internships and mentoring programs that help new operators enter the water and wastewater industries, as well as enhance the skills and knowledge of experienced operators. The factsheets are intended to promote the sharing of best practices for industry professionals seeking to establish similar training programs. They represent the experiences of states, utilities, educational institutions and other organizations that sponsored and developed these programs. To view these materials, go to:  http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/upload/WorkforceFactsheetsCompilation-May-2012.pdf

EPA Posts Successful Candidates for Competitive Award

As part of its FY 12 appropriations funding, EPA has been able to offer approximately $15 million to be awarded via a competitive grant process to qualifying nonprofit organizations to support training and technical assistance needs of small public and tribal water systems.

The successful applicants have been selected.  These organizations – National Rural Water Association (NRWA), Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), and the New Mexico Environmental Finance Center (NM EFC) – will now move to the next phase of the award process.  The awards have not been made yet and selections are subject to completion of the award process.  However, EPA does expect to award these cooperative agreements by Summer 2012.  More information about both the successful organizations and the subject areas of the various awards are listed on the EPA website at: http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/sdwa/smallsystemsrfa.cfm.

Congratulations to each of the successful applicants!

 


USDA Supports Drinking Water Clearinghouse

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) National Drinking Water Clearinghouse has been awarded $800,000 by the USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Service to continue operations.

The National Drinking Water Clearinghouse, based at West Virginia University, offers free and low-cost information and assistance to small towns and rural areas across the country.  “Over the past two decades, we’ve expanded and adapted our services,” says Gerald Iwan, Ph.D., NESC’s executive director. “What hasn’t changed, though, is our commitment to providing assistance, solutions, and knowledge for solving small community environmental challenges.”

To help small communities address their drinking water needs, NESC’s National Drinking Water Clearinghouse offers a technical assistance hotline (800-624-8301), electronic publications On Tap and Pipeline, a comprehensive website (www.nesc.wvu.edu), and more than 1,200 educational products.  NESC’s staff of engineers, water system operators, and specialists provides information on subjects ranging from household wells, source water protection and conservation issues, and water treatment technologies to treatment plant operation and management, updates about regulations, and funding sources for community water infrastructure.

USDA Funding for Rural Communities

Did you know that USDA’s Rural Development program offers funds – both loans and grants – to rural communities to support their water and other infrastructure needs?  The USDA Community Facilities Programs provide loans and grants and loan guarantees for water and environmental projects, as well as community facilities projects. Water and environmental projects include water systems, waste systems, solid waste, and storm drainage facilities. Community facilities projects develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas and may include hospitals, fire protection, safety, as well as many other community-based initiatives.  The information and links below offer additional information about these programs:

  • Community Facilities Programs Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loan Program can make and guarantee loans to develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Loans and guarantees are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, parishes, boroughs, and special-purpose districts, as well as to non-profit corporations and tribal governments.
  • Community Facilities Programs Community Facilities Grants provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, parishes, boroughs, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments.

For more information about these programs, or to file an application, contact the local Rural Development office in your area.