FARM BILL ADDRESSES RURAL WATER, WASTEWATER NEEDS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who met with members of the Mississippi Rural Water Association today, said rural development and conservation provisions enacted with the new farm bill are intended to help rural communities meet growing demands for water and wastewater services, while reducing the amount of time it takes for eligible entities to gain access to important programs.
Cochran, ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said the Agricultural Act of 2014 specifically addresses the ongoing need for water and wastewater improvements in rural states. Among other things, the law reauthorizes U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural water, wastewater facilities and waste disposal grant and loan programs, and provides $150 million in mandatory funds to help reduce a lengthy backlog of pending applications.
“Water and wastewater infrastructure is critical to promoting public health and economic growth. Rural communities frequently find that the repairs or upgrades needed to meet strict government standards are often unaffordable,” Cochran said. “The rural development provisions in the farm bill acknowledge this problem and offer tools to help overcome these challenges.”