Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap- EPA Offers Free Technical Assistance

Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap, that could benefit communities in Vermont and New Hampshire (including manufactured home communities) that are struggling with failing septic systems, or inadequate wastewater infrastructure. The program isn’t construction money, but free technical assistance to help communities achieve their goals of access to safe sanitation.

Originally launched as a pilot in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the initiative partners with EPA contractors and/or local technical assistance providers to help underserved communities access federal wastewater infrastructure funding. The pilot initiative has been assisting 11 communities since 2022 and will now serve an additional 150 communities. The program is supported by funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

EPA is conducting outreach to various organizations to raise awareness of the program and get help identifying communities that might be interested in receiving free technical assistance. We haven’t had any communities sign up in Vermont or New Hampshire yet. If you know of communities that would qualify based on the criteria below, we encourage you to direct them to the WaterTA Request Form (4 min form), where a community representative or member can request no-cost technical assistance.

Who Can Qualify? If any of these conditions apply, assistance may be available. Communities – including homeowners and utilities – and all states, Tribes, and territories can request no-cost technical assistance.

  • Do septic systems back up into homes or cause sewage to pool in yards?
  • Does the town struggle to provide adequate sanitation services to their residents?
  • Does the community struggle to rebuild wastewater and septic systems damaged by natural disasters?

Examples of technical assistance provided through the Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap Program:

  • Conduct an assessment of the community’s wastewater needs.
  • Evaluate the feasibility and costs of wastewater solutions, including performing a rate study.
  • Identify various funding options (federal, state, and other), such as grants and financing.
  • Help with completing the preliminary engineering and paperwork requirements for funding applications.
  • Assist community with establishing an ordinance for wastewater management.

For questions, email

Communities will be selected on a rolling basis; there is no deadline to apply. Language translation services may be available; please reach out directly with your needs.   

 Important Links:

EPA Press Release:

The latest webpage with information regarding the types of technical assistance available, how to apply, Solutions Plans from the pilot communities, fact sheets, and other pertinent information can be found here:

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. FYI, we also plan to reach out to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and the VT RPCs to pass along this information as well. If you have any other ideas on how to spread the word to NH Planning Commissions or other pertinent organizations, please let me know. I would hate for any communities to miss out!

This message was originally sent from:

Michael A. Mezzacapo | he/him/his
Office of Wastewater Management | Sustainable Communities and Infrastructure Branch
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: 802-276-0076

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