Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Marks Recovery Act Water Quality Improvements for a Rhode Island Community | USDA Newsroom
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News Release

Release No. 0455.10
Jay Fletcher (202) 690-0498

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Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Marks Recovery Act Water Quality Improvements for a Rhode Island Community

NORTH TIVERTON, R.I., Sept. 10, 2010 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today attended a ceremony in North Tiverton, Rhode Island to mark the completion of a pump station remodeling project that will improve water quality and fire protection services for thousands of local residents. The station was rebuilt with funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).

"The Recovery Act's impact is being felt across the nation, including here in Rhode Island," said Merrigan. "The Obama Administration is working to improve water quality across America. Because of this pump station, almost 3,000 local residents will have safe drinking water and reliable water pressure for improved fire safety. This crucial project not only provided construction jobs, it enabled the water district to keep rates affordable."

USDA Rural Development provided a $386,000 low-interest loan and a $295,000 grant, both through the Recovery Act, for the project. The State Avenue Pump Station pump room has been refurbished, and pipes, valves and equipment has been replaced to increase water handling capacity. The station can also now be operated remotely. Merrigan noted that this project is a key component in the effort to improve water service in southeast Rhode Island. The pump station treats water purchased from Fall River, Mass., for Tiverton's residential and commercial distribution system.

To date, USDA has announced more than $2.9 billion in Recovery Act funds for 790 water and environmental projects. USDA Rural Development provided financing for the Tiverton project through the Water and Environmental Program, which provides loans and grants to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas, and to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment.

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in Washington, D.C., and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at


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