For 45 years our nation has recognized the importance of environmental obligation, commemorating that responsibility through events and annual celebrations. Celebrations are now set aside for April 22 of every year, known as Earth Day.
USDA’s programs encourage excellence in community planning for safe, resourceful water use and renewable energy efficiencies. Currently, eight water and wastewater projects in Utah are in planning stages or under construction, financed through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program and Community Facilities Program . More than 11,000 citizens of Utah’s most rural cities, towns, and Native American Tribal lands will benefit from these investments to promote water safety and responsible use in their communities.
In addition to highlighting USDA’s commitment to clean water, USDA’s Earth Day celebrations this year also highlight the role of renewable energy systems in environmental responsibility. Since fiscal year 2009, USDA provided loans and grants to support 50 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Utah through USDA’s popular Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP funding allows agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements, evaluate energy efficiency systems, and determine the feasibility of incorporating renewable energy technologies into their operations.
Earth Day is observed annually on April 22 to raise awareness about protecting our Earth’s vital natural resources and defending the environment. Since the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, the event has expanded to citizens and governments in more than 195 countries.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.