MORGANTOWN, July 30, 2018 - Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced a historic commitment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade and rebuild rural water infrastructure.
"USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building infrastructure to secure their futures," said USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Kris Warner. "Modern infrastructure is critical for a high quality of life and economic opportunities - no matter where you live."
Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. They can visit the interactive
RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development's state or field offices
state or field offices.
USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.
Below is an example of USDA's latest investment of $164 million for 54 projects nationwide:
The Cowen Public Service District (WV) is receiving a $1,950,000 loan and a $950,000 grant to provide centralized sewer service to approximately 161 residents in the Upper Glade area. This project will help eliminate threats to public health. The extension includes the installation of gravity line, manholes, a pump station and various other appurtenances.
USDA is announcing investments in Alabama, California, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
In FY 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure. The 2018 Omnibus spending bill includes $5.2 billion for USDA loans and grants, up from $1.2 billion in FY 2017. The bill also directs Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make investments in rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.
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.
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