USDA Invests in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 29 States
Investments will Benefit 169,000 Rural Americans
HARRISBURG, PA June 26, 2019 – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that USDA is investing $192 million in 71 projects located across 29 states to improve rural water infrastructure.
“President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue were very clear when they directed Rural Development to identify and meet rural water needs as a foundational pillar in improving rural infrastructure,” Baxley said. “Safe and reliable water infrastructure is critical to the health, safety and economic vitality of rural America. Without access to safe water and functional wastewater treatment, sustainable growth in rural areas is not possible.”
USDA is making the $192 million investment through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. Rural communities, water districts and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below are some examples of investments in Pennsylvania:
- Waynesburg Borough is receiving a $11.8 million loan and $3.7 million grant to upgrade the aging infrastructure of the wastewater treatment plant, alleviate high flows and comply with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements. This investment will serve 1,448 residential and 41 commercial users.
- Barkeyville Municipal Authority is receiving a $2 million loan and $2.1 million grant to replace water distribution lines, rehabilitate the water storage tank and convert the abandoned water treatment plant building to provide storage for equipment and materials. The lines are aged and in need of replacement due to high water loss and frequent line breaks, resulting in the loss of water pressure and water quality. The Barkeyville Municipal Authority serves approximately 100 users.
USDA is announcing investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Congress appropriated $2.9 billion for USDA Water and Environmental Program loans and grants in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.