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Historic USDA Funding Available for Rural Water, Waste Disposal Infrastructure

Erin McDuff
Release Date

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is making available a historic level of funding for water and waste disposal infrastructure in rural communities, announced State Director John Huffman today.

“This is a significant opportunity for Oregon communities, but they will need to act quickly to avail themselves of this financing," said Huffman. "It can be a struggle for any city to finance a large infrastructure project, but it is especially challenging for small towns. Funding from USDA may help give rural communities the leg up they need to make their infrastructure projects a reality."

The Water and Waste Disposal Program provides loans and grants to fund the construction, upgrade, or expansion of clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage systems, solid waste disposal infrastructure, and storm water drainage in rural areas. With the passage of the 2018 Omnibus spending bill, up to $65 million in low-interest loans and $10 million in grants is available in Oregon this federal fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

Most state and local government entities, private nonprofits, and federally-recognized tribes are eligible to apply. Projects must be located in a rural area with a population of 10,000 or less. Applications are more likely to be processed in time to receive funding this year if they are for the purchase of land or equipment, meters, the upgrade of wells, the upsizing of pipes, or similar activities. Applications that are not approved by September 30 will be considered for funding during the next fiscal year.

Local Rural Development staff members are available to discuss project concepts and help rural communities navigate the application process. Those interested in applying are encouraged to contact a local Community Programs Specialist today to learn more about submitting a successful application.

Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure in FY 2018. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants nationwide, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety, and healthcare; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/or.