[114th Congress Public Law 98]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 129 STAT. 2199]]

Public Law 114-98
114th Congress

                                 An Act

To amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to reauthorize technical assistance 
to small public water systems, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 11, 
                           2015 -  [S. 611]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Grassroots Rural 
and Small Community Water Systems Assistance Act.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 42 USC 201 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Grassroots Rural and Small Community 
Water Systems Assistance Act''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 42 USC 300j-1 note.>> FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 (Public 
        Law 104-182) authorized technical assistance for small and rural 
        communities to assist those communities in complying with 
        regulations promulgated pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act 
        (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.);
            (2) technical assistance and compliance training--
                    (A) ensures that Federal regulations do not 
                overwhelm the resources of small and rural communities; 
                    (B) provides small and rural communities lacking 
                technical resources with the necessary skills to improve 
                and protect water resources;
            (3) across the United States, more than 90 percent of the 
        community water systems serve a population of less than 10,000 
            (4) small and rural communities have the greatest difficulty 
        providing safe, affordable public drinking water and wastewater 
        services due to limited economies of scale and lack of technical 
        expertise; and
            (5) in addition to being the main source of compliance 
        assistance, small and rural water technical assistance has been 
        the main source of emergency response assistance in small and 
        rural communities.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) to assist small and rural communities most effectively, 
        the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should 
        prioritize the types of technical assistance that are most 
        beneficial to those communities, based on input from those 
        communities; and
            (2) local support is the key to making Federal assistance 
        initiatives work in small and rural communities to the maximum 

[[Page 129 STAT. 2200]]


    Section 1442(e) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j-1(e)) 
is amended--
            (1) by designating the first through seventh sentences as 
        paragraphs (1) through (7), respectively;
            (2) in paragraph (5) (as so designated), by striking ``1997 
        through 2003'' and inserting ``2015 through 2020''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(8) <<NOTE: Grants. Contracts.>> Nonprofit 
                    ``(A) In general.--The Administrator may use amounts 
                made available to carry out this section to provide 
                grants or cooperative agreements to nonprofit 
                organizations that provide to small public water systems 
                onsite technical assistance, circuit-rider technical 
                assistance programs, multistate, regional technical 
                assistance programs, onsite and regional training, 
                assistance with implementing source water protection 
                plans, and assistance with implementing monitoring 
                plans, rules, regulations, and water security 
                    ``(B) Preference.--To ensure that technical 
                assistance funding is used in a manner that is most 
                beneficial to the small and rural communities of a 
                State, the Administrator shall give preference under 
                this paragraph to nonprofit organizations that, as 
                determined by the Administrator, are the most qualified 
                and experienced in providing training and technical 
                assistance to small public water systems and that the 
                small community water systems in that State find to be 
                the most beneficial and effective.
                    ``(C) Limitation.--No grant or cooperative agreement 
                provided or otherwise made available under this section 
                may be used for litigation pursuant to section 1449.''.

    Approved December 11, 2015.


HOUSE REPORTS: No. 114-346 (Comm. on Energy and Commerce).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 114-47 (Comm. on Environment and Public Works).
            June 9, considered and passed Senate.
            Nov. 30, considered and passed House.