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USDA invests in rural Wyoming water and energy infrastructure

 Lusk, Wyoming
Lusk, Wyoming (KGWN)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) - Today, in honor of Earth Day 2021, Wyoming Acting State Director Janice Blare announced the United States Department of Agriculture is investing $2.5 million in critical infrastructure that will help Wyoming communities build back better and stronger while prioritizing climate-smart solutions and environmental stewardship. USDA is making the investments in Wyoming under the Water and Environmental Program and the Rural Energy for America Program.

“Earth Day is a great time to celebrate improved water supplies and opportunities for small businesses to conserve energy,” Blare said. “Our infrastructure investments will provide rural Wyoming communities with resources they need to prosper and thrive.”

The town of Lusk will repair deteriorating water and wastewater infrastructure with $2.4 million in water and waste disposal loans. A flash flood in June 2015 accentuated the town’s aging sewer and water lines. Over 60 years old, the infrastructure requires replacements and repairs to the main water and sewer lines, manholes, and fire hydrants to alleviate health and sanitary issues. The project is leveraged with funding from the Wyoming State Revolving Funds (SRF) loan program.

A $100,000 energy audit grant was awarded to the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) and will allow it to expand its existing Small Business Energy Program by providing energy audits to rural small businesses and agricultural producers statewide; allowing WEA to reach more businesses across the state of Wyoming. The WEA works with an energy auditor who will conduct the energy audits for eligible rural business owners and agricultural producers throughout the state to maximize the completion of conservation and energy efficiency projects. The energy audit also acts as a precursor to the USDA Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Guaranteed Loans & Grants.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wy. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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