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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Funding for Rural Infrastructure Projects During Investing in America Tour

David Rush
Hilo HI
Release Date

Funding Will Bring Modern Infrastructure to People in Rural Communities of Hawaii and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Hilo, Hawaii Feb. 21, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is funding 216 projects in 45 states, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands to bring state-of-the-art infrastructure and economic growth to rural communities as part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda.

According to Chris Kanazawa, USDA Rural Development State Director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific stated, “the funding under the Biden-Harris Investing in America agenda invests in rural communities to build a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and making our communities more resilient.” As part this investment, Kanazawa announced examples of infrastructure and technical assistance projects serving communities in Hawaii and in the Western Pacific.  “These investments provide critical wastewater infrastructure and technical assistance that will contribute to both the health of the environment and the overall well-being of these communities.”

Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure and Technical Assistance

  • In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), an investment of $161,000 will be used to provide the Office of Planning and Development serving CNMI plans to develop and teach Integrated Solid Waste Operator Training to solid waste operators on the islands of Tinian and Rota. The training will produce operators in an integrated solid waste management environment who have the knowledge to comply with regulations and properly manage various waste streams. The training will be directed to operators at facilities including landfills, transfer stations, green waste processing sites, white good/appliance recycling sites, and E-waste recycling sites.

  • In Hawaii, an investment of $498,000 will be used to assist Ono Vista, a residential community situated in Waialua on the north coast of the island of Oahu. The Association of Apartment Owners is proposing to rehabilitate the residential community's aged wastewater effluent disposal system which has been recognized by the State Department of Health with an impermissible operation and maintenance rating due to the injection wells requiring pumping five days a week. The project proposes to rehabilitate the system's three wastewater effluent injection wells which would entail re-drilling, construction, development and testing.

USDA is providing $644.2 million to help 158 rural utilities provide clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems for 913,000 people in rural areas.

The Department is making investments through the Solid Waste Management Grants Program to help organizations provide technical assistance and training for rural communities and utilities to improve solid waste facilities. The assistance helps communities protect their local watersheds and the health of people living in rural areas.

USDA is also financing projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to help state and local governments, private nonprofits and federally recognized Tribes build and improve rural wastewater systems. The funding enables rural communities to expand access to clean and reliable drinking water, sanitary waste disposal and stormwater drainage.

A full list of projects from today’s announcement is available online.

USDA’s most recent Rural America at a Glance report, published in November 2023, signals that the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments in rural American infrastructure, jobs and overall recovery are working.

USDA 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. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America.

To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.



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