Davis, CA, Apr 20, 2012 -- As part of USDA's Earth Day celebrations today, USDA Rural Development State Director Glenda Humiston announced a commitment of nearly $4 million to help improve the wastewater system for the rural community of Oakhurst in Madera County.
"California's rural communities face many challenges, but access to reliable, safe waste removal should not be one of them," said Humiston. "Rural Development, in partnership with the community, is working to help fix this problem. This Earth Day, USDA is commemorating 150 years of working with Americans to protect the land."
Madera County Maintenance District No. 22A, who operates the wastewater system for Oakhurst, was cited with a cease and desist order from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board because the system did not have full capacity to dispose of treated wastewater. Funds will help make the necessary improvements to the wastewater treatment facility and spray field to adequately increase capacity. Once completed, the district will be able to safely and effectively dispose of treated wastewater.
USDA Rural Development awarded the district a $2.8 million low-interest loan and $1 million grant through their Water and Waste Disposal program. Additional funds were provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the district.
Across the country this Earth Day, USDA Rural Development is funding 54 projects in 33 states that will help improve water and wastewater service and benefit the environment. Earth Day is a historical holiday in which countless Americans devote time to making a positive impact on the environment and local communities. USDA Rural Development is dedicated to implementing positive environmental change and helping provide our nation with a clean and abundant water supply.
USDA Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs as laid out by Congress through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $125 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
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