USDA To Invest $307 Million in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

Kimberly Redmond  |

Image source: Katja Just / Pixabay

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to award up to $307 million in grants and low-interest loans to help modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

In a press release announcing the initiative, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the investments will help fund projects to eliminate outdated pipes and service lines in small communities in 34 states and Puerto Rico. 

“Every community needs safe, reliable and modern water and wastewater systems,” Vilsack said in a statement. “The consequences of decades of disinvestment in physical infrastructure have fallen most heavily on communities of color.”

“This is why USDA is investing in water infrastructure in rural and Tribal communities that need it most — to help them build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before,” he added.

The projects are being financed through the USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, an initiative that provides funding to upgrade drinking water systems, sewage disposal, solid waste disposal and storm water drainage.

The program is open to rural communities with populations up to 10,000 people.

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According to the USDA, the latest investment will help fund infrastructure improvements that will ultimately benefit 250,000 residents and businesses.

The funding follows President Joe Biden’s announcement last week of a bipartisan infrastructure framework that will enable “the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history.” 

Eliminating the country’s lead pipes and service lines is included in the deal reached last month by Biden and a group of Senators. 

The proposed agreement includes $55 billion to remove and replace the millions of pipes and service lines that continue to serve an estimated six to 10 million homes across the US. 

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Source: Equities News

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