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EPA has announced a competitive assistance agreement program to support community drinking water utilities' efforts in strengthening and enhancing the security of their infrastructure.
This program will focus on approximately 480 medium-sized community water systems, which provide drinking water to more than 50,000 but less than 100,000 people.
EPA has allocated $1.7 million for this cooperative agreement program, which will complement EPA's support to large drinking water systems serving 100,000 or more people and its grant program to states to help community water systems serving more than 3,300 but less than 50,000 people.
All three actions contribute to EPA's goal of protecting the nation's water supplies.
Non-profit organizations capable of providing training and technical assistance to drinking water systems are eligible to apply for the total amount or a portion of these funds for the medium-sized system training.
These organizations, selected through competition, will offer a variety of training approaches to medium-sized water systems on conducting assessments of their vulnerability to terrorist or other intentional attacks and preparing or revising emergency response plans based on the results of their vulnerability assessments. Medium-sized systems must submit a completed vulnerability assessment to EPA no later than Dec. 31, 2003.
Recipients of these funds will also deliver a limited amount of direct technical assistance to help utilities with the completion of this requirement, which was set forth in the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
Proposals must be received on or before April 17, 2003. Final awards will be announced in May 2003 by direct notification to the successful applicants. The Request for Proposals is posted on EPA's website at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/security/pdfs/train2_rfp.pdf, as well as the Federal government-wide Web site for Federal Business Opportunities www.bizops.gov.