Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure for 936,000 rural Americans living in 46 states.
“Access to water is a key driver for economic opportunity and quality of life in rural communities,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building prosperity through modern water infrastructure.”
“Investing in infrastructure benefits the rural economy and the well-being of our environment for future generations to enjoy,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Maryland and Delaware Denise Lovelady. “Rural Development’s programs are designed to help rural communities address their infrastructure needs and forge a path towards greater prosperity.”
USDA is providing financing for 234 water and environmental infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.
Below are some examples of the investments USDA is making in western Maryland and the surrounding areas:
- In Allegany County, Maryland, the Allegany County Commissioners will use a $1,092,000 loan for upgrades to the North Branch Sewage Pumping Station located near the Mexico Farms service area outside the city of Cumberland. Funds will be used to replace and update outdated equipment. Additional funding for this project includes $700,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission and a $118,000 applicant contribution.
In Somerset County, Pennsylvania, the Municipal Authority of the Borough of Berlin is receiving a $2,500,000 loan to replace the primary water transmission line for the Berlin Municipal Water System. The investment will also help replace water meters.
- In Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the Dunbar Borough and Township Sanitary Authority is receiving a $332,000 loan and $1,107,200 grant to construct new sewer line extensions to service the Hardy Hill and Airport areas within Dunbar Township.
USDA is making investments in rural communities in: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.