Albuquerque, Apr 15, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner and USDA Rural Housing Administrator Tammye Treviño from Washington, D. C. were given a tour earlier this morning of the new wastewater treatment facility in Ruidoso, New Mexico. The tour was part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to recognize the importance of Earth Day. The new wastewater facility will help eliminate the possibility of ground water contamination in the area.
“I was pleased to tour Ruidoso’s new wastewater facility and see how stimulus funds are being put to use to invest in infrastructure and address environmental issues.” Brunner added, “Being here on Earth Day was especially significant because by funding this project it demonstrates how this Administration has worked hard to make sure future generations living in this area have clean healthy water to drink.”
The tour of the new wastewater treatment plant in Ruidoso was part of the many Earth Day celebrations sponsored by Rural Development across the nation to highlight both newly funded projects as well as past Earth Day projects. These projects that are completed or near completion demonstrate how USDA is helping keep the environment clean in rural communities.
The reconstruction of the Ruidoso wastewater treatment plant is significant because the new wastewater treatment facility is critical in stopping ground water contamination. The old facility was discharging effluent into the environmentally sensitive Rio Ruidoso and was out of compliance with environmental regulations.
The contamination was caused when the old wastewater treatment plant was badly damaged during the flood in the summer of 2009 as a result of the aftermath of Hurricane Dolly which caused major damage throughout the Ruidoso area. Ultimately the damage to the wastewater treatment facility caused the facility to leak wastewater into the water table near the facility.
The funding to construct the new facility was made through USDA Rural Development’s Community Program with an $8.7 million dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) loan. The rest of the funds in the amount of $4.4 million needed to complete the project came from the State of New Mexico Environment Department.
Currently, the new facility is being readied for full operation within the next month as the final stages of testing is being completed.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov