Funding to benefit people and advance President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – a key pillar of Bidenomics
Investment includes $78 million for lead pipe remediation, furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan
HILO, Hawaii, Aug. 28, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing $808 million to help rural cooperatives and utilities build and improve electric infrastructure and increase electric grid reliability and security, connecting hundreds of thousands of people in rural areas. This funding will also help provide clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems in rural areas for years to come.
Today’s announcement will benefit nearly 480,000 people in 36 states, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands while building and strengthening rural infrastructure, and creating good-paying jobs.
The funding announced today advances President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to grow the American economy from the middle-out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
“USDA invests in rural America because we know strong communities are rooted in their people,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Powering people with modern infrastructure creates good-paying jobs and supports opportunities for people to build brighter futures. The investments we’re announcing today demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to ensuring that people who live and work in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed – and that they can find those opportunities right at home.”
USDA Rural Development Hawaii/Western Pacific State Director Chris Kanazawa said this investment is vital. “The sewage infrastructure in Majuro desperately needs improvements to their sewage system, not just to benefit the residents but also for the environment,” said Kanazawa. “This is definitely a step in the right direction to make the improvements to protect the ocean and the land in Majuro,” Kanazawa concluded.
The 139 investments announced today will help people living in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands will receive $10,862,000 in loans and grants:
- This Rural Development investment will be used to replace the sewage outfall in the city of Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands. This project will help replace the island's badly damaged and corroded system which has been discharging untreated sewage into shallow water close to the coast, creating public health and ecological risk. It will greatly reduce exposure risks and improve environmental health.
USDA is making the investments through the Electric Loan Program, Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program, Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program, Water and Waste Facility Loans and Grants to Alleviate Health Risks for Colonias Program, Solid Waste Management Grants Program, Community Facilities Program, Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.
Today’s announcement further advances the groundbreaking Biden-Harris Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan with $78 million in new awards for lead pipe remediation. With up to 10 million American households connecting to water through lead pipes and service lines, the Administration is working aggressively to replace all lead service lines in America in the next decade. USDA is partnering with communities to address this challenge through its various programs.
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.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under 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. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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