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During Infrastructure Week, Biden-Harris Administration Announces Projects to Strengthen Rural Infrastructure and Create Jobs Across the Nation

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Projects Will Help Nearly 575,000 People Access Reliable Electricity and Clean Drinking Water

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is funding 47 projects in 23 states to improve access to reliable electricity and clean drinking water for more than one million people and create good-paying jobs across the nation. The announcement was made during President Biden’s Infrastructure Week which highlights the progress the Biden-Harris Administration has made to improve American infrastructure through historic funding packages such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.

The investments advance President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to grow the American economy from the middle out and bottom up.

Today’s announcement was made at the White House’s Community in Action: Building a Better America event. The Secretary also announced the availability of $1 million in grants through USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative to organizations who will help Puerto Rico Rural Partners Network communities access critical funding to recover from Presidentially declared disasters. This announcement also comes on the heels of the Two-Year Anniversary of the Rural Partners Network which has facilitated nearly $2.8 billion in investments across 36 community networks in 10 states and Puerto Rico.

“When USDA invests in rural communities, we are supporting hard work that sends a ripple effect across our country,” Secretary Vilsack said. “That’s why we champion rural people by investing in critical infrastructure that will build a more resilient power grid and ensure safe drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people living and working in rural areas. 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.”

USDA is investing $671 million to support projects in 23 states that will lower electric bills for rural families and businesses, while ensuring they have access to clean water, which is essential to the health of every community.

Through projects financed by USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loans, Grants and Loan Guarantees, the agency is helping state and local governments, private nonprofits and federally recognized Tribes build and improve rural wastewater systems.

The funding will enable rural communities to expand access to clean and reliable drinking water, sanitary waste disposal and storm water drainage. For example:

  • In New York, the village of Champlain will use funding to replace its water main. This improvement will help expand access to clean water for the residents of Champlain.
  • In Nebraska, the village of Hyannis will use funding to replace aging infrastructure including the storage tank, distribution pipe, valves, fire hydrants and meters. Funds also will be used to replace deteriorating parts of the collection system piping. This project will help promote water conservation practices and improve water quality for nearly 150 residents.

USDA is also providing funding through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program to help utility providers and electric cooperatives build and improve electric infrastructure, smart-grid technologies and renewable energy systems.

These projects will help ensure everyone in rural areas has access to reliable electricity to increase economic opportunity and quality of life:

  • Caney Fork Electric Cooperative will use funding to connect nearly 3,000 consumers and build and improve 253 miles of power lines. This includes $1,568,000 in smart grid technologies. The cooperative provides electric service to more than 34,000 consumers by facilitating over 4,047 miles of power line in eight counties in central Tennessee.
  • Rosebud Electric Cooperative will use funding to connect more than 400 people and build and improve 225 miles of power lines. The cooperative provides electric service to approximately 5,600 consumers by facilitating over 2,374 miles of power line in five counties in south central South Dakota.

Funding in today’s announcement will help people living in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA 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 healthcare; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America. 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.

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