News Release
Release No.STELPRD4020482
Buffalo Gap, Texas, May 02, 2013 --

@@As part of USDA’s Earth Day celebrations, Rural Development in Texas announced and presented funding today to the City of Buffalo Gap for improvements to the city’s wastewater services, leading to overall improvements both for the environment, and community residents.

“Every day we face challenges to our nation’s natural resources. Earth Day reminds us of the critical role USDA Rural Development plays in confronting these challenges,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director. “This funding will provide the rural residents of Buffalo Gap with an environmentally friendly, sanitary, and reliable wastewater collection system, a critical component for the advancement of rural communities.”

In Texas, the City of Buffalo Gap was awarded $4.4 million through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal program to construct a water waste collections system. The new system will provide the city and its residents with first time service for sewer collection and treatment. The project will include the construction of sewer lines, manholes, lift station and cleanouts, and will pump waste approximately 5 miles away from the city, to an Abilene waste water treatment plant. USDA’s investment in the construction of a water waste collections system in the City of Buffalo Gap reinforces the commitment to protect America’s natural resources, provide a clean environment and increase economic opportunities for current and future generations of rural Americans. The City of Buffalo Gap has a population of 463 and is located in Taylor County.

Nationally, as part of USDA’s Earth Day celebration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced support for 43 water and wastewater projects in 32 states. As part of today’s announcement, USDA Rural Development is providing more than $142.2 million to improve water quality and provide a safe and healthy environment for rural Americans. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

“At USDA, we believe it is critical that communities across the country have reliable, clean and safe water,” Vilsack said. “This Earth Day, I also encourage residents of communities affected by natural disasters, including those hit by Hurricane Sandy, to apply for funding through the USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants Program.”

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, organized through the efforts of the late Wisconsin Senator and conservationist Gaylord Nelson, the event has expanded to include participation by citizens and governments in more than 195 countries.

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.