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Earth Day 2013 - $3.4 million Kasaan Water Project completed

$3.4 million Kasaan Water Project supplies community with essential resource

   ANCHORAGE, Alaska, April 22, 2013 – As part of USDA’s Earth Day celebration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced support for projects that will improve water and wastewater services for rural Americans and benefit the environment across the country.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty.  Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

   Concurrently, USDA-Rural Development (RD) Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund announced today the completion of a water project in the community of Kasaan.  The announcement, made on Earth Day, highlights Rural Development’s efforts to improve environmental and health conditions in rural Alaskan communities.   

   “This water system project is critical because communities across the state should have access to reliable, clean and safe water that meet necessary drinking water standards,” said Nordlund.  “The water treatment plant and water storage tank now provide quality drinking water to the residents of Kasaan,” he added.

   The funding for the project was provided by USDA-RD’s Rural Alaska Village Grant (RAVG) program. The project is another successful culmination in the partnerships between USDA-RD, the State of Alaska, the Indian Health Service, and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC).  The new infrastructure was put into operation after a final inspection on March 20th.   

   “The community of Kasaan needed a larger water plant that would be able to meet our current and future demands plus meet new Environmental Protection Agency regulations.  The USDA-RD helped supply the necessary funds to build a larger water plant and new storage tank in a safer location.  The community of Kasaan will now have a safer and more adequate supply of drinking water,” said Kasaan City Mayor, Audrey L. Escoffon.

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