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S. 2969 - Rural Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2018

Introduced: 2018-05-24
Bill Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
 
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Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 2969


    To amend the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to improve water or waste disposal grants or direct or guaranteed loans, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 24, 2018

    Ms. Baldwin introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

    To amend the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to improve water or waste disposal grants or direct or guaranteed loans, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Rural Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2018”.

SEC. 2. Water or waste disposal grants or direct or guaranteed loans.

(a) Grants.—Section 306(a)(2)(B) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(2)(B)) is amended—

(1) in clause (iii), by striking “$100,000” each place it appears and inserting “$200,000”; and

(2) in clause (vii), by striking “2018” and inserting “2023”.

(b) Assistance for unserved and underserved rural communities.—Section 306(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(27) ASSISTANCE FOR UNSERVED AND UNDERSERVED RURAL COMMUNITIES.—

“(A) DEFINITION OF UNSERVED OR UNDERSERVED RURAL COMMUNITY.—In this paragraph, the term ‘unserved or underserved rural community’ means a rural area that, as determined by the Secretary, lacks the technical, financial, organizational, and managerial capacity to adequately operate, maintain, and effectively serve the population of the rural area.

“(B) WATER AND WASTE DISPOSAL DIRECT LOANS.—The Secretary may make water and waste disposal direct loans under paragraph (1) to eligible entities described in subparagraph (C) at the interest rate applicable to areas where the median family income is below the poverty line, as determined under section 307(a)(3)(A), for projects for unserved or underserved rural communities.

“(C) ELIGIBLE ENTITIES.—To be eligible to receive a direct loan under subparagraph (B), an applicant shall be a contiguous or local utility outside of the unserved or underserved rural community to be served by the project funded by the direct loan that, as determined by the Secretary—

“(i) has a demonstrated experience and capacity in delivering water programs or wastewater programs under this Act;

“(ii) demonstrates the capacity to provide service to the applicable unserved or underserved rural community;

“(iii) demonstrates that—

“(I) the project funded by the direct loan is solely for the purpose of serving the applicable unserved or underserved rural community; and

“(II) the maximum financial benefit of the assistance under this paragraph will be conferred to that unserved or underserved rural community; and

“(iv) demonstrates that the applicable unserved or underserved rural community—

“(I) has willingly entered into a formal agreement with the applicant for service by the applicant; and

“(II) entered into the agreement described in subclause (I) with the understanding that the unserved or underserved rural community is eligible for water and waste disposal direct loans under paragraph (1) independently of any direct loan under this paragraph.”.

(c) Direct and guaranteed loans.—Section 343(a)(13)(B) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(B)) is amended—

(1) by striking “For the purpose” and inserting the following:

“(i) GRANTS AND DIRECT LOANS.—For the purpose”;

(2) in clause (i) (as so designated)—

(A) by striking “and guaranteed”; and

(B) by striking “(24)” and inserting “(27)”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(ii) GUARANTEED LOANS.—For the purpose of water and waste disposal guaranteed loans provided under paragraphs (1) and (24) of section 306(a), the terms ‘rural’ and ‘rural area’ mean a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a population of not more than 50,000 inhabitants.”.

SEC. 3. Funding of pending rural development loan and grant applications.

(a) In general.—The Secretary shall use funds made available under subsection (b) to provide funds for applications that are pending on the date of enactment of this Act in accordance with the terms and conditions of section 6029 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–246; 122 Stat. 1955).

(b) Funding.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, beginning in fiscal year 2019, of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section $150,000,000, to remain available until expended.


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