Ag secretary announces $250M in Recovery Act funds for rural water projects

WASHINGTON, DC, July 15, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the selection of $250 million in water and environmental projects that are being funded immediately through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...

• USDA's Recovery Act investments in rural water and wastewater infrastructure projects passes $1 billion; 32 additional projects in 17 states to receive funding

WASHINGTON, DC, July 15, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of $250 million in water and environmental projects that are being funded immediately through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The 32 projects will help provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment systems for rural towns and communities in 17 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. This is the fifth wave of water and environmental projects that USDA has announced, with total funding of $1.134 billion.

"Recovery Act projects are putting people to work and helping communities of all sizes build a foundation for economic strength and future prosperity," said Vilsack. "The water and wastewater projects we're announcing today are helping to achieve the Obama Administration's economic recovery goals by rebuilding and revitalize the nation's infrastructure while creating or retaining jobs."

USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

For example, the City of Faulkton in Faulk County, S.D., will receive a loan and grant for $2.12 million to construct a new 125,000 gallon elevated water tower, purchase a standby electric generator for the pumping, and other upgrades that, combined, will improve the efficiency and modernize the community's water system. This investment will provide a significant boost to the quality of life for the city's 785 residents and an improvement for the city's fire protection services.

In Hoquiam, Wash., the city has made its lagoon modernization project a high-capital improvement priority. The lagoon, as it is now, has a significant potential of leaching pollutants into the local water system, risking public health and jeopardizing area industry. The city will receive a $9.47 million loan to modify its 48-acre lagoon that stabilizes and stores waste and sludge, and serves as an emergency holding area for excess flow to the treatment plant. Funds also will help to remove waste that has built up for 30 years and poses a significant environmental risk.

>> More information about USDA Rural Development
Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

>> Click here for the list of projects that Secretary Vilsack announced today

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on February 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

>> More information about USDA's Recovery efforts, including a blog where people can 'Share Your Story' about how Recovery Act projects are impacting their communities.
>> Additional information about the overall recovery program

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