Earth Day 2015: USDA announces $112M for rural water quality, energy-efficiency projects
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is celebrating Earth Day by announcing support for projects to improve rural water and wastewater services, promote renewable energy, and promote the efficient use of energy resources across the United States.
WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2015 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is celebrating Earth Day today by announcing support for projects to improve rural water and wastewater services, promote renewable energy, and promote the efficient use of energy resources across the United States. Further, the organization is providing the funding for water and wastewater infrastructure projects through Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program (WEP).
In all, USDA is funding 37 water and wastewater projects and 25 renewable energy projects totaling more than $112 million. The city of Crete, Neb., for example, has been selected for an $11.7-million WEP loan and a $1.7-million WEP grant to replace its wastewater treatment facility. In Missouri, Rural Development awarded a $1.6-million loan to help the city of Holts Summit build a regional pump station at its wastewater treatment facility. The town of Henderson, Md., is also receiving a $175,000 grant to make emergency repairs to its water system.
This year's Earth Day celebrations also highlight the role of renewable energy systems in maintaining environmental quality. Twenty-five organizations have been selected for energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants through USDA's popular Rural Energy for America Program. The grants support programs to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses evaluate energy-efficiency systems and determine the most effective and affordable method of incorporating renewable energy technologies into their operations. Eligible recipients are government bodies, utilities and institutions of higher education.