News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017802
ContactMarie Ferris802.828.6080
RURAL DEVELOPMENT CELEBRATES EARTH DAY, 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF USDA WITH VERMONT
Montpelier, VT, May 31, 2012 --

@@Contact: Rhonda Shippee 802-828-6033

Rural Development Celebrates Earth Day, 150th Anniversary of USDA With Vermont

Announces Funding for Water and Wastewater Projects to Improve Sanitation and Environmental Quality

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 – As part of USDA’s Earth Day celebration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced support for projects in 33 states that will improve water and wastewater services and the environment.

“It is critical that communities across the country have reliable, clean and abundant water,” said Vilsack. “These water and wastewater projects demonstrate how USDA is helping the environment in rural communities. This Earth Day, USDA is commemorating 150 years working with Americans to protect the land. At the same time, USDA is looking to the future. We know an economy built to last will rely on the health of our natural resources.”

In all, 54 water and wastewater projects will be funded. Earth Day is observed annually on April 22 to raise awareness about the role each person can play to protect vital natural resources and safeguard the environment. Since the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, the event has expanded to include participation by citizens and governments in more than 195 countries.

As part of today’s announcement, USDA Rural Development is providing more than $150.8 million to improve water quality and provide a safe and healthy environment for rural Americans. In addition, nearly $22.5 million is being invested for training through the Technical Assistance and Solid Waste Management programs.

In Pawlet, VT $1,210,200 will refurbish the existing 32 year old wastewater treatment plant. The Greensboro (VT) Fire District will receive $2,833,250 to replace the majority of existing water mains and fire hydrants in this village.

USDA Rural Development State Director for Vermont, Molly Lambert, noted, “Providing funds to assist rural Vermont communities with water and wastewater improvements is critical to ensuring both safe water for drinking and clean water in our rivers and streams. In addition, this critical infrastructure supports recreation, tourism and economic development that contribute to the vitality of our towns and villages.”

This year, as America celebrates Earth Day, USDA is commemorating 150 years working with Americans to protect the land. At the same time, USDA is looking to the future. In the years to come, we will help address the changing needs of agriculture and rural America – and find strategies for managing our public and working lands that promote a strong middle class today while preserving benefits for generations to come.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President is committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in loans and loan guarantees. 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 areas.

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