West Sacramento, Calif. – Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) received a $50,000 grant this week from the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) 2016 Environmental Justice Small Grants program to promote safe water consumption in Merced County communities.

Agua4All is an innovative program to increase access to and consumption of safe drinking water in low-income, rural communities throughout California. With CalEPA funds, RCAC will provide community outreach and education to promote water’s health benefits and dispel negative perceptions about drinking tap water. Education to assure people that tap water is safe is critical in communities that have been impacted by pollution and water contamination in the past.

“CalEPA’s Environmental Justice Program is designed to lift the unfair burden of pollution from those most vulnerable to its effects” said Stanley Keasling, RCAC’s chief executive officer. “Our work doesn’t stop when filling stations are installed. We build community trust that the water coming from the taps is safe to drink.”

Leveraging a grant from Dignity Health that will fund 26 water bottle filling station installations in Le Grand and Planada schools and county parks, RCAC will develop and distribute promotional and educational materials to school children and community members. In addition, free water bottles will be distributed to students. The project will culminate in a community celebration this fall.

Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and western Pacific islands. Services are available to communities with populations of fewer than 50,000, other nonprofit groups, tribal organizations, farmworkers, colonias and other specific populations. RCAC staff provides direct services in collaboration with local and community partnerships in three program areas: affordable housing, environmental services, and lending.

For more information about CalEPA 2016 Environmental Justice Small Grants, visit: http://www.calepa.ca.gov/PressRoom/Releases/2016/EJGrantAward.htm


Julia Helmreich
Rural Community Assistance Corporation
(916) 529-7563 Cell