WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the support for projects to improve rural water and wastewater services, promote the efficient use of energy resources and promote renewable energy, according to a press release.

USDA is providing more than $112 million in loans and grants for water and wastewater infrastructure projects through Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program (WEP), stated the release.

For example, continued the release, to help fund the replacement of its wastewater treatment facility, the city of Crete, Nebraska, has been selected for a $717,000 WEP loan.

Vilsack reported that the recent Earth Day celebration also highlights the role of renewable energy systems in maintaining environmental quality, informed the release.

"I am proud to announce that USDA is providing more than $112 million in loans and grants to help rural communities build and upgrade their water and energy infrastructure systems," said Vilsack. "Not only do projects such as these help ensure communities have access to clean water and affordable energy, they also create jobs and boost the economy."

USDA in all is funding 37 water and wastewater projects and 25 renewable energy projects, totaling over $114.6 million, noted the release.

Read the entire release here.