News Release
Release No.STELPRD4020359
ContactVicki Schurman402-437-5563
USDA Office of Communications202-720-4623
Washington, DC, Apr 25, 2013 --

@@As part of USDA's Earth Day celebration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced support for projects that will improve water and wastewater services for rural Americans and benefit the environment across the country. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. The announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

In Nebraska, the Village of Colon has been selected to receive a $388,000 loan and $541,700 grant to construct a new three cell complete retention sewer lagoon, force main, lift station, and develop backup power at the new lift station. Colon presently has a 40 plus year old activated sludge “package” type wastewater treatment plant that has reached the end of its useful life. This plant is unable to meet the current effluent discharge limits for E.coli contained in their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

"At USDA, we believe it is critical that communities across the country have reliable, clean and safe water," Vilsack said.

In all, 43 water and wastewater projects in 32 states will be funded. USDA Rural Development is providing more than $145.2 million to improve water quality and provide a safe and healthy environment for rural Americans.

Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan, grant, or loan/grant agreement. A complete list of water and wastewater award recipients is located here.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of 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, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.