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Langley Business Receives USDA Environmental Stewardship Award for Eco-Friendly Practices

Phil Eggman
Release Date

LANGLEY, Island County, April 26, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development awarded a local Langley business the Environmental Stewardship Award Friday for their eco-friendly practices, specifically their use of renewable energy.

Helen Price Johnson, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Washington State, presented the award to Damon Arndt of ARNDT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC, located at the Soundview Center on 432 3rd Street in Langley.

“We got to see how this investment is really making a major impact on the utility cost for a local business,” said Price Johnson. “Investing in rural communities and small businesses helps create a resilient economy, build jobs, and generate wealth for the future, which is crucial for rural development in Washington State.”

Notable participants at the presentation included U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D) from Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, Rep. Clyde Shavers (D) from Washington House District 10, Kennedy Horstman, Mayor of Langley, Janet St. Clair, Island County Commissioner from District No. 3, Nicole Whittington-Johnson from Langley Chamber of Commerce, and Heather McCoy, Executive Director of Whidbey Conservation District.

Arndt Property Management received a $23,760.00 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant in June 2023 to purchase and install a 26.8 kilowatt solar array, which is expected to save the business about $3,206 annually in energy costs.

“We are thrilled to have solar on the building for a variety of reasons,” said Arndt, who jointly owns the business with his wife, Shannon. “We are grateful for producing clean energy; our building has a prominent place in Langley, right at the main entrance to the town, so we hope the solar exposure will serve as an example for others to adopt solar in their homes or businesses.

“Hopefully in the long term, this will be a cost savings for our business, so anything that helps out with finances is great,” he added.

Earlier in the week, on Earth Day, April 22, USDA Rural Development presented Mutiny Bay Blues Farm in Freeland with an Environmental Stewardship Award for using a $78,800 REAP grant to purchase and install an 88.2 kW solar array. Mutiny Bay Blues’ project is expected to save $9,561 annually and replace 91,600 kWh of energy, enough to power at least 8.5 homes.

Additionally, USDA awarded $2.3 million in 18 additional renewable energy projects in 13 Washington counties as part of 700 clean energy projects awarded around the country, totaling over $238 million.

These projects are funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combating the climate crisis.

“Through REAP, we can really make a difference helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners expand their use of clean energy and improve the environment,” Price Johnson said. 

USDA continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through September 30, 2024.

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. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wa.