Nearly $3 Million Allotted to Improve Drinking Water Infrastructure in Puna
U.S. Sens. Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced that the Hawaiian Shores Community Association will receive nearly $3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve its community drinking water system in Puna, Hawai‘i.
“Rural communities in Hawai‘i face unique challenges in maintaining and updating aging water infrastructure,” said Sen. Hirono.
“The Hawaiian Shores Community Association is very grateful to the USDA, Sens.
In addition, USDA will provide HSCA with $1,978,000 in federal assistance.
Town of Byron received $2.9 million in funding assistance for water district
This $5,078,000 was awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Water and Waste Disposable Loans and Grants Program.
The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary waste disposal, and stormwater drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.
“Constructing and maintaining water systems oftentimes are costly projects, but the Water and Waste Disposable Loan and Grant Program provides federal assistance to ensure rural communities, like the Town of Byron and Village of Wyoming, are still able to provide clean water for their residents.
The Town of Byron intends to create Water District #8, a project which is estimated to cost $2,858,000, will extend public water service to 107 residential users in the town who currently do not have access to safe potable water.
The Village of Wyoming intends to address ongoing issues with on-site wastewater systems, which have been causing groundwater quality impairments within the Village’s public water supply.
This project, which is projected to cost $2,220,000, will provide a secondary source of water to 163 residential and commercial users and will ensure the Village’s water supply is preserved and protected.
Loan deadline coming for drought-related federal disaster loans
Small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and aquaculture farms have less than a month to apply for federal assistance due to the recent drought, which hasn’t entirely ended despite recent rain and snow.
May 15 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in New Hampshire as a result of the drought that began on Jan. 1, 2016.
Ironically, while the northern half of the state has recovered from the drought, the southern half continues to show drought conditions, as state climatologist Mary Stampone mentioned at a meeting of the New Hampshire Drought Management Team last week.
The problem is that groundwater supplies, which take time to be recharged, have not recovered from a year of below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures.
There are increasing signs that another El Nino, the Pacific Ocean phenomenon that shapes weather throughout the continent, is forming.
The last El Nino was associated with New Hampshire’s 2016 drought.
Under the federal Small Business Administration declaration, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to farm-related and nonfarm-related entities, including nurseries.
Except for aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers or ranchers.
The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, and terms up to 30 years.
Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, or by calling the SBA’s customer service center at 800-659-2955 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Trump proposed EPA cuts could add up for state
Trump proposed EPA cuts could add up for state.
Under the president’s proposed budget, the North Dakota Department of Health Environmental Health Section would lose all federal funding for at least seven of the national regulatory programs it administers.
The Environmental Health Section received more than $27 million in EPA funding last biennium and, before the president’s budget announcement, was expecting $26.7 million this coming biennium.
The department had expected to receive $8.4 million for these programs in the next biennium.
Glatt said elimination or shrinking of some programs won’t greatly affect the state but things like clean air and clean water funding very well could.
The radon program for air quality also would be eliminated, along with $8.05 million in associated grants.
Glatt said the state only gets a small grant on radon regulation, so this is one elimination that will have a small impact.
Wetlands Program Development grants are another the state could live without, but the programs’ $4.42 million reduction would mean less money passed on by the state to universities for the research that shapes state program implementation.
About $21 million in multipurpose grants will be eliminated, though the state was not expecting to receive anything from this one-time funding program in FY 2017.
The Nonpoint Source Section 319 grant program was eliminated.