$154.8M in Recovery Act funds for rural water projects

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 3, 2009 -- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced the selection of $154.8 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded immediately through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...

Aug 3rd, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 3, 2009 -- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced the selection of $154.8 million in water and environmental project loans and grants that are being funded immediately through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects will help provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment systems for rural towns and communities in 15 states and Puerto Rico. Altogether, USDA has announced $1.29 billion for water and environmental project loans and grants, benefiting people throughout the country.

"The 36 Recovery Act water and wastewater projects we are announcing today further the Obama administration's goal to rebuild and revitalize the nation's rural infrastructure," Merrigan said. "These projects will put people to work, improve the health of families and communities, and make a down payment on a better environment for the future."

Among the projects announced today include a $798,000 loan and a $429,500 grant to construct a 114,000 gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plan and collection system, in Garrison, Ky. The residents of Lewis County, which persistently has a high poverty rate, have no public wastewater collection and treatment system. The residents have relied on individual septic systems which are failing and can contribute to unsanitary living and environmental conditions. The new system will provide more than 330 residents with safe waste disposal.

In Iron County, Mich., the City of Iron River Sewer Collection Replacement Project will receive a $2 million loan and a $3 million grant to upgrade an aging and deteriorated sewer collection and treatment system, and purchase a sewer cleaning vehicle for system maintenance. Currently, pollutants are released into the groundwater, causing environmental and public health hazards. The new sewer system will prevent leaching, sanitary sewer overflows and residential basement flooding.

The ARRA funding announced today is being administered by USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program which 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.

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. Visit the USDA website (http://www.usda.gov) for a complete list of award recipients, by state.

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 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 Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

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