What does this program do?
This program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.
Who may apply?
This program assists qualified applicants who are not otherwise able to obtain commercial credit on reasonable terms. Eligible applicants include:
- Most state and local governmental entities
- Private nonprofits
- Federally-recognized tribes
What is an eligible area?
Areas that may be served include:
- Rural areas and towns with populations of 10,000 or less -- check eligible addresses
- Tribal lands in rural areas
What kinds of funding are available?
- Long-term, low-interest loans
- If funds are available, a grant may be combined with a loan if necessary to keep user costs reasonable.
How may the funds be used?
Funds may be used to finance the acquisition, construction or improvement of:
- Drinking water sourcing, treatment, storage and distribution
- Sewer collection, transmission, treatment and disposal
- Solid waste collection, disposal and closure
- Storm water collection, transmission and disposal
In some cases, funding may also be available for related activities such as:
- Legal and engineering fees
- Land acquisition, water and land rights, permits and equipment
- Start-up operations and maintenance
- Interest incurred during construction
- Purchase of facilities to improve service or prevent loss of service
- Other costs determined to be necessary for completion of the project
- See 7 CFR Part 1780.7 and 1780.9 for a complete list
What is the loan term and rate?
- Up to 40-year payback period, based on the useful life of the facilities financed
- Fixed interest rates, based on the need for the project and the median household income of the area to be served
Contact us for details and current interest rates applicable for your project
Are there additional requirements?
- Borrowers must have the legal authority to construct, operate and maintain the proposed services or facilities.
- All facilities receiving federal financing must be used for a public purpose.
- Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private and nonprofit entities that offer financial assistance are encouraged.
- Projects must be financially sustainable.
How do we get started?
- Applications are accepted year round and may be filed electronically using RD Apply. The RD Apply Customer Help Guide is provided to help you get started and work through the application process
- Applications are also accepted through your local RD office.
- Program resources are available online (i.e., forms, guidance, certifications, etc.).
Who can answer questions?
- Contact the local representative who serves your area
- Participating nonprofits in your area may also offer assistance and training
What governs this program?
- Basic Program – 7 CFR, Part 1780
- Loan Servicing – 7 CFR, Part 1782
- Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses. Good practices can save tax dollars, improve the natural environment, and help manufacturers and businesses to locate or expand operations.
NOTE: Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm you have the most current information by contacting a program specialist in your local RD office for assistance or consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"
NOTE: Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information, and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application.
Current interest rates for 1st quarter FY 2024, effective October 1, 2023.
There are no other architect requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
On April 1, 2016 the USDA Rural Development office implemented a new Environmental Regulation which supersedes previous regulation guidance. When applying for Federal Agency funding we are required to meet various laws and regulations including environmental. The guidance provided in this document will walk an applicant through the process of making the correct environmental classification and guidance on how to prepare and complete the environmental to meet USDA application requirements.
When to begin the Environmental Review? The review should begin at the earliest possible time in the project planning. There are many state and federal agencies that must be consulted during this process. Environmental actions must be investigated and results must be available and concluded before decisions are made and before any actions are taken. The environmental must identify and evaluate all reasonable alternatives and if there are adverse impacts to the environment.
Who should complete the Environmental Review? As the applicant, the environmental is required as part of your application to the agency for Federal funding. You may complete the environmental yourself should you feel that you have the knowledge and experience to adequately investigate potential environmental impacts or you may choose to hire an Environmental Consultant to prepare the information in accordance with the agency guidelines. An Environmental Report or Assessment will only be required if the project meets the need as stated below.
How to begin the Environmental Process?
STEP 1: Determine the correct environmental classification based upon the project description.
- 1970 Subpart B - Categorical Exclusion with/without an Environmental Report
- 1970 Subpart C - Environmental Assessment
- 1970 Subpart D - Environmental Impact Statement
STEP 2: Contact local USDA Specialist to confirm correct classification has been determined.
1970 Subpart B: If the project meets requirements listed in 1970.53 no Environmental Report is necessary.
1970 Subpart B: If the project meets requirements listed in 1970.54 use Exhibit C “Guide to Applicants for Completing Environmental Reports” to prepare and complete the environmental in accordance with the guide. This should be completed by the applicant or hired environmental consultant.
1970 Subpart C: Use Exhibit B “Guide to Applicants for Preparing Environmental Assessments” to prepare and complete the environmental in accordance with the guide. This should be completed by the applicant or hired environmental consultant.
1970 Subpart D: Contact your local USDA Specialist for further guidance.
STEP 3: Submit Environmental Findings to USDA for review. When the environmental findings have been prepared you may submit a draft document to your local USDA Specialist for a preliminary review of the information. Upon review you will receive feedback on any additional information or corrections necessary to bring the document into compliance with the regulations.
Who should I contact for help? Please contact your local USDA Loan Specialist for assistance with the classifications and requirements of the regulations. You may also contact the State Environmental Coordinator, Charles Mikula (302.857.3583).
Additional Guidance Attached:
1970 Subpart B: Categorical Exclusions
1970 Subpart C: Environmental Assessments
1970-A Environmental Policies
1970-B NEPA Categorical Exclusions
1970-C NEPA Environmental Assessments
1970-D NEPA Environmental Impact Statements
1970-E Guidance for Conducting Environmental Justice and Socioeconomic Analyses
1970-F Floodplain Management
1970-G Wetland Protection
1970-H Historic and Cultural Resources
1970-I Intergovernmental Review
1970-J Environmental Risk Management
1970-L Land Use and Formally Classified Land
1970-N Biological Resources
1970-O Miscellaneous Resources
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
There are currently no events scheduled.