7 USC 1926a - Emergency and imminent community water assistance grant program

(a) In general 
The Secretary shall provide grants in accordance with this section to assist the residents of rural areas and small communities to secure adequate quantities of safe water
(1) after a significant decline in the quantity or quality of water available from the water supplies of such rural areas and small communities, or when such a decline is imminent; or
(2) when repairs, partial replacement, or significant maintenance efforts on established water systems would remedy
(A) an acute, or imminent, shortage of quality water; or

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(B) a significant decline, or imminent decline, in the quantity or quality of water that is available.
(b) Priority 
In carrying out subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall
(1) give priority to projects described in subsection (a)(1) of this section; and
(2) provide at least 70 percent of all such grants to such projects.
(c) Eligibility 
To be eligible to obtain a grant under this section, an applicant shall
(1) be a public or private nonprofit entity; and
(2) in the case of a grant made under subsection (a)(1) of this section, demonstrate to the Secretary that the decline referred to in such subsection occurred, or will occur, within 2 years of the date the application was filed for such grant.
(d) Uses 

(1) In general 
Grants made under this section may be used
(A) for waterline extensions from existing systems, laying of new waterlines, repairs, significant maintenance, digging of new wells, equipment replacement, and hook and tap fees;

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(B) for any other appropriate purpose associated with developing sources of, treating, storing, or distributing water;
(C) to assist communities in complying with the requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.); and
(D) to provide potable water to communities through other means.
(2) Joint proposals 
Nothing in this section shall preclude rural communities from submitting joint proposals for emergency water assistance, subject to the restrictions contained in subsection (e) of this section. Such restrictions should be considered in the aggregate, depending on the number of communities involved.
(e) Restrictions 

(1) Maximum population and income 
No grant provided under this section shall be used to assist any rural area or community that
(A) includes any area in any city or town with a population in excess of 10,000 inhabitants according to the most recent decennial census of the United States; or
(B) has a median household income in excess of the State nonmetropolitan median household income according to the most recent decennial census of the United States.
(2) Set-aside for smaller communities 
Not less than 50 percent of the funds allocated under this section shall be allocated to rural communities with populations that do not exceed 3,000 inhabitants.
(f) Maximum grants 
Grants made under this section may not exceed
(1) in the case of each grant made under subsection (a)(1) of this section, $500,000; and
(2) in the case of each grant made under subsection (a)(2) of this section, $150,000.
(g) Full funding 
Subject to subsection (e) of this section, grants under this section shall be made in an amount equal to 100 percent of the costs of the projects conducted under this section.
(h) Application 

(1) Nationally competitive application process 
The Secretary shall develop a nationally competitive application process to award grants under this section. The process shall include criteria for evaluating applications, including population, median household income, and the severity of the decline, or imminent decline, in quantity or quality of water.
(2) Timing of review of applications 

(A) Simplified application 
The application process developed by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall include a simplified application form that will permit expedited consideration of an application for a grant filed under this section.
(B) Priority review 
In processing applications for any water or waste grant or loan authorized under this chapter, the Secretary shall afford priority processing to an application for a grant under this section to the extent funds will be available for an award on the application at the conclusion of priority processing.
(C) Timing 
The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, review and act on an application under this section within 60 days after the date on which the application is submitted to the Secretary.
(i) Funding 

(1) Reservation 

(A) In general 
For each fiscal year, not less than 3 nor more than 5 percent of the total amount made available to carry out section 1926 (a)(2) of this title for the fiscal year shall be reserved for grants under this section.
(B) Release 
Funds reserved under subparagraph (A) for a fiscal year shall be reserved only until July 1 of the fiscal year.
(2) Authorization of appropriations 
In addition to funds made available under paragraph (1), there is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $35,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.