USDA Invests $281 Million in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in 36 States and Puerto Rico
Projects will Improve Water Infrastructure, Public Health and Environmental Quality for 350,000 Rural Residents and Businesses
Harrisburg, PA., May 27, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today announced that the department is investing $281 million in 106 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.
“These investments will bring modern, reliable water and wastewater infrastructure to rural communities. They will replace deteriorating, leaking water pipes with new ones and upgrade water handling systems that are decades old. These investments create jobs and improve public health and safety for our rural neighbors,” Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Eligible applicants include rural cities, towns and water districts. The funds can be used for drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems in rural communities that meet population limits.
State Director Curt Coccodrilli today announced that Pennsylvania is investing over $20 million through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. “These projects are exactly the type of infrastructure investments the Trump Administration, our Congressional leaders, and USDA Rural development wants to see delivered into our rural areas that can benefit most. I’m honored that we have dedicated communities thinking of their future, and our PA Rural Development federal employees always willing to help.”
Below are examples of water and wastewater projects in rural communities that will receive funding:
• Keating Township is receiving a loan of $2,962,000 and a grant of $1,715,000 to construct 224,145 linear feet of collection lines, three booster stations and two wastewater treatment plants to meet applicable Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Program health and sanitary standards. These additional Rural Development funds are needed to complete the project.
• Bath Borough Authority is receiving a loan of $7,263,000 will replace the existing wastewater treatment plant to comply with a consent order and agreement with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Servicing area is located in the borough of Bath and the townships of East Allen and Upper Nazareth.
• Borough of Baden is receiving a loan of $2,847,800 will replace the water distribution system and water lines in the borough of Baden. In an addition to the replacement of 37 inoperative fire hydrants located throughout the borough's service area, this project will also fund the widespread replacement of water meters in conjunction with the installation of a remote reading system.
• Lawrence Park Township is receiving a loan of $1,194,000 will replace its Soudan Lift Station within its sewage collection system as it has reached the end of its useful life. Lawrence Park Township owns and operates sanitary sewer facilities within the township and is in the process of upgrading and replacing the lift stations, manholes, lines and other facilities due to the age of the entire collection system. In addition, they have signed an agreement with the neighboring township to make a capital contribution to tie into a new sewage collection and conveyance line.
• Mercer Borough is receiving a loan of $2,943,000 and a grant of $1,083,000 will replace 10,300 linear feet of 6-inch and 8-inch diameter vitrified clay pipe with 8-inch diameter pipe within five identified areas. Also, included is the trenchless rehabilitation of 4,900 linear feet of the 12-inch North and South Interceptors transited and varied clay pipes.
• The Borough of Youngsville is receiving a loan of $692,000 will replace ultraviolet disinfection system equipment at their existing wastewater treatment plant as it has reached the end of its useful life. The proposed project consists of the construction of a new building, new UV disinfection unit, and associated yard piping. The project will also include installation of an aeration system to meet the stricter Dissolved Oxygen limits included in the most recent NPDES operating permits. Youngsville Borough owns and operates the public sanitary sewer facilities within the Borough and serves a portion of Brokenstraw Township and Sugar Grove Township in Warren County, Pennsylvania.
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.
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