By: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Funding to benefit nearly 480,000 people and advance President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – a key pillar of Bidenomics
Investment includes $78 million for lead pipe remediation, furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan
WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing $808 million to help rural cooperatives and utilities build and improve electric infrastructure and increase electric grid reliability and security, connecting hundreds of thousands of people in rural areas. This funding will also help provide clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems in rural areas for years.
Today’s announcement will benefit nearly 480,000 people in 36 states and two U.S. territories while building and strengthening rural infrastructure and creating good-paying jobs.
The funding announced today advances President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to grow the American economy from the middle-out and bottom-up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure to driving over $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
“USDA invests in rural America because we know strong communities are rooted in their people,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Powering people with modern infrastructure creates good-paying jobs and supports opportunities for people to build brighter futures. The investments we announce today demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensuring that people who live and work in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed – and that they can find those opportunities right at home.”
The 139 investments announced today will help people living in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands.
- In the West, 10,000 people in Safford, Arizona will get access to safe and reliable drinking water.
- In the South, more than 800 people in the town of Star, North Carolina will benefit from water improvements that will remove all lead-based paint from the elevated storage tank, reducing health hazards for the community.
- In the Midwest, more than 300 people in Irwin, Iowa will access safe and dependable drinking water while replacing steel, cast iron, and lead service lines with copper lines in their water distribution system. Additionally, households and businesses in northern Indiana will connect to 132 miles of reliable electric infrastructure.
- In the Northeast, people in Waterloo, New York will get access to safe and reliable drinking water. People in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania will receive upgrades to their sewer televising system allowing the municipality to provide better service to the community.
USDA is making investments through the Electric Loan Program, Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program, Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program, Water and Waste Facility Loans and Grants to Alleviate Health Risks for Colonias Program, Solid Waste Management Grants Program, Community Facilities Program, Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.
Today’s announcement further advances the groundbreaking Biden-Harris Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan with $78 million in new awards for lead pipe remediation. With up to 10 million American households connecting to water through lead pipes and service lines, the Administration is working aggressively to replace all lead service lines in America in the next decade. USDA is partnering with communities to address this challenge through its various programs.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.