The Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) grant program

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Office of Drinking Water (ODW) is dedicated to addressing the critical issue of emerging contaminants and their impact on small or disadvantaged communities.

The Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) grant program will provide states and territories with grants to community organizations and public water systems serving small or disadvantaged communities to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS. Grants will be awarded non‐competitively to states and territories. VDH ODW will consolidate workplans from multiple Virginia stakeholders and apply to EPA with a combined workplan to receive the grant.

Through the EC-SDC grant program, eligible communities can apply to VDH ODW to access financial support to develop and implement projects that tackle the challenges posed by emerging contaminants. This grant focuses on projects in which the primary purpose is to address the challenges of PFAS in drinking water, whether it is found in the finished water system or in source water. We encourage collaborative approaches that involve community organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, and other stakeholders to ensure comprehensive and sustainable solutions.

Eligible activities include:

  • Efforts to address emerging contaminants in drinking water that would benefit a small or disadvantaged community on a per household basis;
  • Technical assistance to evaluate emerging contaminant problems;
  • Programs to provide household water-quality testing, including testing for unregulated contaminants;
  • Local contractor training;
  • Activities necessary and appropriate for a state to respond to an emerging contaminant.

The program recognizes the disproportionate burden faced by small or disadvantaged communities in dealing with emerging contaminants. These communities often lack the necessary infrastructure, technical expertise, and financial resources to effectively address these complex issues. The aim is to bridge this gap by empowering these communities through targeted funding and assistance.


The first grant period is January 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025 and the application period is closed. Applicants interested in the grant period beginning July 1, 2025 should apply by January 31, 2025.

Initial applications were due June 30, 2023. A general overview of the application process is outlined below. All awarded projects are expected to have a project period of up to four years.

Application Process:

  1. Plan your project
  2. Reach out to VDH ODW EC-SDC contact and schedule a preliminary discussion/meeting
  3. Develop a Work Plan, including budget, timeline and expected outcomes
  4. Submit the Work Plan to ODW EC-SDC team

Applicants should submit through the email inbox.