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USDA Invests $121 Million in Critical Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change Across Rural America

Name
Charron Culp
City
NASHVILLE
Release Date
Aug 24, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 24, 2022 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh today announced USDA is investing $121 million in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across rural America. The investments include $111 million for 289 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities. Tennessee State Director Arlisa Armstrong is pleased to announce that more than $360,000 will be invested in six projects across rural Tennessee.

“We are committed to combating the challenges of climate change, and providing the necessary relief that our rural communities need for everyday living,” Armstrong said. “Through partnerships, today’s investments will help implement long-term recovery following natural disasters and save rural Tennessean’s money on their energy costs.”

The funding will help people in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps rural residents, businesses and communities address economic development, infrastructure and social service needs. 

These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses immediate economic needs and includes the largest ever federal investment in clean energy for the future. For example, the Act includes $14 billion in funding for USDA programs that support the expansion of biofuels and help rural businesses and electric cooperatives transition to renewable energy and zero-emission systems.

Background:  

Bronaugh highlighted a total of 415 investments that USDA is making through three programs specifically designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are Community Facilities Disaster Grants, Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants, and Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Grants.

The investments will help state and local government entities, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Tribes construct, renovate or purchase and install equipment for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. They also will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems as well as make energy efficiency improvements. The investments will also help with energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and renewable energy site assessments. In Tennessee:

  • Jackson County will use an $105,000 Community Facilities Disaster Grant to purchase a garbage truck for the solid waste department. This vehicle will enable the county to improve their solid waste management by providing a more reliable collection method. The project will benefit the approximately 11,600 residents of Jackson County.
  • Samburg Utility District will use a $225,000 Community Facilities Disaster Grant to construct an office building for the utility district. The building will include office space, a public meeting room and front access area for utility payment receipts. The previous office was destroyed in the tornados that occurred in west Tennessee on December 10, 2021. The new office will serve all customers of the utility district and will benefit the approximate 200 customers of Samburg.
     
  • Anastasis Wellness LLC will use an $17,057 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to purchase and install energy efficient lightning and insulation. Anastasis Wellness is an existing small business that is a CrossFit gym. This project is expected to save $1,024 dollars in energy costs per year, which is enough energy to power three homes. 
     
  • Alfresco Pasta LLC will use an $13,202 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to purchase and install energy efficient lighting and an HVAC system. Alfresco Pasta is a small business that creates hand crafted artisan pasta for local chefs and retail clients. This project is expected to save $6,332.91 dollars in energy costs per year, which is enough energy to power five homes.
     
  • Morrison Industries LLC will use a $9,106 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to purchase and install energy efficient lighting. Morrison Industries is a small manufacturing business that creates highly engineered products for various market and industry sectors. This project is expected to save $13,165 dollars in energy costs per year, which is enough energy to power nine homes.

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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

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, ensuring access to 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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