Ag Secretary Announces $143 Million to Improve Infrastructure Across Rural America

Funds will go to projects in 21 states.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced on Thursday the selection of roughly $143 million in water and environmental projects being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These projects will provide safe drinking water and improve wastewater treatment systems for rural communities in 21 states. The act, signed into law in February by President Obama, includes measures such as enhancing energy independence and is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy by providing and saving millions of jobs so the country can thrive in the 21st century.

 

USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program provides loans and grants to guarantee the necessary investments in water and wastewater infrastructure are made in order to bring safe drinking water to rural areas and to protect the environment. The town of Ossian, Indiana is one example, selected to receive a $4.5 million loan to replace a 75-year old water distribution system with a new system to provide reliable, safe drinking water for over 1200 residents.

 

Vilsack says President Obama's investments in these projects will ensure that residents have reliable drinking water in addition to helping local economies thrive as a result of the improved infrastructure.

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