More than $800 million has been announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help rural communities to connect hundreds of thousands of people by building and improving electric infrastructure and increase grid reliability and security. This funding will also help provide clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems in rural areas for years to come. This will benefit nearly 480,000 people in 36 states and two United States territories.
“USDA invests in rural America because we know strong communities are rooted in their people,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Powering people with modern infrastructure creates good-paying jobs and supports opportunities for people to build brighter futures. The investments we’re announcing 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.”
According to USDA,
- 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 get access to 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.