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Historic Funding Available for Rural Water and Waste Water Infrastructure

Carson City, NV – In March 2018, Congress provided a historic level of funding that included $5.2 billion for United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, loans and grants for water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities under 10,000 population.  At this level, USDA, under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, have the necessary resources to completely address the $3 billion backlog and ensure additional investments are targeted to rural communities with the greatest infrastructure needs.

“For decades, elected officials from the local county supervisor to the President have placed aging infrastructure as one of the top priorities.  These efforts have now come to fruition,” NRWA CEO Sam Wade stated. “Small communities and rural water and wastewater systems are highly encouraged to apply for USDA loans and grants now. Since Congress has clearly recognized the need by providing robust funding levels, we must fully utilize these resources to strengthen Rural Water.”  Replacement projects, upgrades needed to existing assets and other work not needing extensive environmental review, that could be started very soon are candidates for funding in the current cycle. Please consider for immediate action near-term items on your capital improvement plan, or items that have shown signs of failure, such as mains with a history of numerous breaks. If your system is not fully metered, this availability of funds now presents a great opportunity.

Rural community leaders can apply for these funds electronically by using the interactive RD Apply tool https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rd-apply

  • They can also apply, or get assistance with an application through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices. In Nevada the contacts are: 775-887-1222, Community Programs Director – Cheryl Couch – x4760 Community Programs Loan Specialist – Lisa Goodfellow – x4761. In the Elko office, the contact is: Community Programs Loan Specialist – Maria Murillo on 775-738-8468 x107.  Please give USDA RD a call to talk about your project.
  • “Robust, modern infrastructure is foundational for quality of life and economic opportunity – no matter what zip code you live in, ”Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett said in a news release on July 16, 2018. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to be a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”

Manditory Consolidation

November 20, 2017  Illinois and Utah Rural Water Associations Stand Up for Small and Rural Communities and Against Allowing State Regulators to Force Consolidation Over Community Objections: On Wednesday, Illinois Rural Water’s Executive Director Frank Dunmire and Utah Rural Water’s National Director and NRWA Regulatory Committee Chair Paul Fulgham made presentations to the House Energy and Committee Committee staff and the staff of the Committee’s Chairman, Representative John Shimkus (IL).  The two rural water representatives urged the Chairman to drop the “mandatory consolidation” provision in the Committee’s Safe Drinking Water Act amendment, HR 3387.  The rural water team explained that states currently have powers of condemnation, emergency actions, and receivership that provide for the necessary due process for the citizens of any community in question.  The Committee’s new federal authority for state regulatory agencies circumvents current due process to the detriment of local citizens and governments.  

Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructure

DHS, FBI Warn Companies of Ongoing Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructure: The Department of Homeland Security and FBI issued a rare public alert warning owners of U.S. critical infrastructure to battle an ongoing campaign of state-hacker corps cyber attacks against their information and control networks.  Energy and industrial firms were notified Friday and again Saturday that sophisticated hackers are attempting to penetrate industrial control systems used by the electrical and nuclear power industry, as well as water, aviation, and manufacturing sectors. For the original article cut and paste to browserà http://www.zdnet.com/article/hackers-are-attacking-power-companies-stealing-critical-data-heres-how-they-are-doing-it/ For the CERT report itselfà  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA17-293A  

Benefit of Joining NvWARN

NvWARN member utilities are invited to participate in a 4-hour virtual Table-Top Exercise. EARTHEx is FREE. All you need is an internet connection. The goal is to review internal policies and agency response actions in extreme,”Black Sky” hazard scenarios: Subcontinent-scale power outages with cascading infrastructure failures. The exercise will focus on four primary areas: Executive and senior operational decision-making “Initiating and coordinating initial sector response and restoration actions “Multi-sector emergency communication and coordination “Developing sector recommendations for Improved restoration support and resilience. Contact John Hines for info or http://www.eiscouncil.com/EarthEx to register your utility.    

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