Biden-Harris Administration Invests $272 Million to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure for 270,000 People Living in Rural Communities Across the Country

Pennsylvania Projects Receive $1.5 million

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $272 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for 270,000 people living in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico.

“As people in many parts of the nation battle drought and fires brought on by climate change, there has never been a more urgent need for this assistance,” Vilsack said. “When we invest in rural infrastructure, we build opportunity and prosperity for people in rural communities. These investments support the local economy by making rural communities attractive, economically viable and safe places to live and work, therefore helping to create and save jobs by attracting and retaining employers and workers. Investing in rural water infrastructure is one of the many things the Biden-Harris Administration is doing to help the nation build back better during the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

USDA is financing 114 projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program. These investments will help improve rural infrastructure for 270,000 people and businesses.

In Pennsylvania, two projects are receiving funding:

  • The Borough of Smethport Authority (BOSA) in McKean County is receiving a $1.2 million loan to replace and/or upgrade water distribution, sewer collection, conveyance lines and fire hydrants. These lines are more than 50 years old and need to be replaced due to high unaccounted water loss. This project will also allow for full fire emergency response, which is lacking in the area. The BOSA currently owns and operates the public water and wastewater system within Smethport Borough with users located in the borough and Keating Township.
  • The Neshannock Creek Watershed Joint Municipal Authority in Mercer County is receiving a $219,000 loan and $96,000 grant to install a mechanical bar screen at the Thompson Road pump station. The pump station requires continuous inspection and cleaning to remove debris buildup on the stationary bar screen and trash basket. Additionally, debris that is not being captured in the screening chamber, is entering the wet well and being pumped to the treatment plant resulting in excess debris in the aeration tanks. An open type shelter will be built as well to provide cover and protection for the equipment and control panel at the site.


The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage. The program serves people and businesses in eligible rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less.

In addition, USDA announced investments today in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, contact a USDA Rural Development state office.

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 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