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Rural Communities of Color and Federal Funding for LSL Replacements

April 20, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have allocated an unprecedented billions of dollars of federal funding to states for lead service line (LSL) replacement. A critical consideration of this effort concerns how states distribute the funding and how LSL replacements are implemented in communities, especially taking into account the country’s increasing wealth and health disparities and the Administration’s Justice 40 Initiative.

Rural communities face specific challenges due to shrinking populations and aging infrastructure. In addition, rural communities of color are often overburdened by pollution and struggle to access needed funding for water infrastructure projects. Challenges often include technical, financial, managerial capacity, and matters of competing prioritization of significant needs, trust, and buy-in from communities long-neglected from disinvestment and marginalized by systemic racism.

This webinar will highlight key challenges of these communities with regard to accessing federal funding for lead service line replacement programs, and discuss how to address and overcome these barriers. Speakers will share examples of promising efforts and helpful resources.

Moderator:

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, Executive Director, Children’s Environmental Health Network

Speakers:

LaTricea Adams, Founder, CEO, & President, Black Millennials for Flint
Lorette Picciano, Executive Director, Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural
Hope Cupit, President & CEO, Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. (SERCAP)
Andy Crocker, Regional Programs Lead, SERCAP
Kenneth Rodgers, Rural Housing Specialist I, SERCAP
Goals of the webinar:

Identify challenges faced by rural communities of color in accessing federal funding (from EPA, USDA RD, etc.) for LSL replacement.
Discuss how to address/overcome these barriers, and key elements of effective technical assistance or other strategies.
Provide examples and share resources about promising efforts in rural communities of color.