14 October 2021, Washington: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $272 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure (PDF, 280 KB) for 270,000 people living in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico.
“As people in many parts of the nation battle drought and fires brought on by climate change, there has never been a more urgent need for this assistance,” Vilsack said. “When we invest in rural infrastructure, we build opportunity and prosperity for people in rural communities. These investments support the local economy by making rural communities attractive, economically viable and safe places to live and work, therefore helping to create and save jobs by attracting and retaining employers and workers. Investing in rural water infrastructure is one of the many things the Biden-Harris Administration is doing to help the nation build back better during the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
USDA is financing 114 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. These investments will help improve rural infrastructure for 270,000 people and businesses.
The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage. The program serves people and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less.
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.
For example, as part of today’s announcement:
- Shelby County Ohio is receiving a $6.1 million loan and a $5.2 million grant to improve and expand the Lake Loramie Wastewater Treatment Plant. The improvements will provide reliable water and sewer services to 2,000 people. They are needed to bring the county into compliance with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The Biolac Cell 1 will be converted into a digester, and the improved plant will use Orbital Oxidation Ditch technology. The facility will be capable of handling 600,000 gallons per day. These improvements will increase the capacity of the facility to support more economic development and opportunity for the community.
- The village of Baldwin, Wis., is receiving a $14.5 million loan and a $3.6 million grant to replace its wastewater treatment plant, improving service for nearly 4,000 people. The current plant is too small to support essential community facilities and economic development in the community. Additionally, much of the equipment is reaching the end of its useful life. The new plant will bring the community into compliance with state Department of Natural Resources pollutant discharge elimination standards.
- The city of Russell, Iowa, is receiving a $495,000 loan and a $296,000 grant to upgrade its municipal sewer system. The city will construct a Submerged Attached Growth Reactor treatment system and an ultraviolet disinfection treatment system. It also will upgrade the collection system. This project will improve the quality of life for 554 people who call Russell home.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, contact a USDA Rural Development state office.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.