HOME | news | contact | about | index | e-mail | 1(800) 624-8301

NESC Media Room


News Releases - 2011

New Tech Brief Available Online

A new issue of our popular Tech Brief series is now available on the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) website at www.nesc.wvu.edu/
pdf/DW/publications/ontap/tech_brief/TB54_OilGasExtraction.pdf
.

The latest Tech Brief is titled "Oil and Gas Extraction and Source Water Protection." In it, NESC Engineering Scientist Zane Satterfield examines increased activity in the oil and natural gas industries--especially with shale gas development--and how these efforts impact drinking water, wastewater, and source water protection.

This Tech Brief joins more than 50 others on topics ranging from arsenic to valve exercising. View the complete collection by clicking here.

A related article, "Communities, Water Sources and Potential Impacts of Shale Gas Development," describes the challenges a community may encounter as a result of shale gas development and offers suggestions for protecting community and water sources from potential negative impacts. The article is available through NESC's Water We Drink website at: www.nesc.wvu.edu/waterwedrink/.

If you have questions about oil and gas extraction as it relates to water quality issues, please call our technical staff toll free at (800) 624-8301.

Posted December 13, 2011


NESC Helps Renew Wastewater Partnership
Joins EPA and 16 Other Organizations to Address Water Quality Challenges

In 2005, West Virginia University’s National Environmental Services Center (NESC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with six other national organizations, launched an initiative to promote decentralized wastewater treatment system (septic system) technology and through its proper operation and maintenance reduce pollution in the nation’s waterways. This was done by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Partners for Decentralized Wastewater Management Program which was renewed and expanded in 2008 and again at the recent November 9, 2011 signing ceremony in Washington D.C.

According to EPA, about 20 percent of U.S. residences depend on septic systems to treat four billion gallons of sewage each day. Between 10 and 20 percent of these systems are not working properly at any time and may not be adequately treating sewage. Obviously, this pollution poses environmental and human health hazards, but it is a problem that is difficult to monitor or regulate. The renewed MOU seeks to join EPA, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and industry groups in an effort to encourage proper onsite wastewater management.

“This event symbolizes the commitment of 18 national organizations to continue providing the public with the best available information, technical support, services and oversight on this essential wastewater treatment,” said Gerald Iwan, executive director for both NESC and the State Onsite Regulators Alliance (SORA). “NESC and SORA are proud to be part of this dedicated group of professionals.”

Joining the original eight members and the six who joined in 2008 are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NSF International. Learn more about the MOU partnership by visiting EPA’s Office of Water website at: http://cfpub.epa.gov/owm/septic/septic.cfm?page_id=263&sort=name&view=doctype_results&document_type_id=2

Posted November 22, 2011


SORA_ID

SORA Publishes Wastewater White Papers
Seeks Appropriate Recognition of Decentralized Technologies

Septic systems have been used to treat wastewater for more than 50 years. In the decades since, great strides have been made in decentralized wastewater treatment and there are many more advanced treatment options available today in addition to the typical septic system. These systems handle one-fourth or more of the wastewater in the U.S. and Canada. Widespread acceptance of decentralized systems, however, has not kept pace with technological advancements.

To increase awareness and help decentralized wastewater systems be viewed as part of our permanent infrastructure, the State Onsite Regulators Alliance (SORA) has developed two white papers. The first, titled “Decentralized Onsite Wastewater Technologies: Sustainable Green Infrastructure Protects Source Water Quality and Public Health"” makes the case that these technologies should be more widely recognized by state and national officials as environmentally effective and economically viable options for wastewater treatment.

The second paper, "Decentralized/Onsite Wastewater Projects and Programs: Opportunities for Funding," advocates for these systems to be eligible for clean water state revolving loan and other funding programs, programs that have historically only provided funding for centralized, public sewer projects.

"Onsite wastewater systems provide another dimension to a community’s options to address its public sanitation responsibilities," says Gerald Iwan, SORA's executive director. "In addition, onsite technologies are sustainable, environmentally benign and economica--valuable characteristics in today's world."

Both white papers may be downloaded from the SORA website at www.sora-coi.net.

The State Onsite Regulators Alliance's mission is to advance the field of knowledge and practice of those who regulate onsite wastewater programs by increasing awareness of the latest technology, research, environmental health issues, and new federal initiatives that will affect the decentralized wastewater industry.

Posted October 20, 2011


WWDHeader

Water We Drink Website Has New Articles and an Online Survey

The Water We Drink: Small Community Outreach Campaign, which offers information about maintaining safe, sustainable, and secure water supplies in small and rural communities, has added two new articles to its website. The articles are written especially for those who oversee local water and wastewater services, and may be downloaded at no charge and used for educational purposes, such as reprinting in newsletters and magazines, training sessions, and websites.

The website, is a joint effort by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and the National Environmental Services Center (NESC), located at West Virginia University, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The two new articles are:

Making Sure It All Adds Up: Financial Accounting for Small Water and Wastewater Systems.
Describes the importance of sound financial accounting practices for managing and maintaining water and wastewater systems, and offers 10 recommendations for improving your financial management approach.

Communities, Water Sources and Potential Impacts of Shale Gas Development.
Describes the challenges a community may encounter as a result of shale gas development and offers suggestions for protecting your community and water sources from potential negative impacts.

Additional articles and educational products addressing a wide variety of water issues–such as source water protection, capital improvements planning, setting water and sewer rates, pharmaceuticals and personal care products in our waters, impending labor shortages, water and energy, and aging infrastructure–are also available on the website.

We encourage you use the materials and to complete The Water We Drink’s new online survey to let us know how you’re using them by clicking here.

The Water We Drink project strives to raise awareness about crucial water issues and solutions, and invites everyone to use the articles and resources to support or complement state and local efforts.

Contact Sandra Fallon by calling (304) 293-6897, or e-mailing sfallon@mail.wvu.edu.

Posted September 29, 2011


New Regulations for Lead in Drinking Water

Earlier this year, President Obama signed into law the "Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act." This new law amends section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act and will come into effect January 4, 2014.

The new law redefines "lead-free" under the Safe Drinking Water Act to further restrict permissible levels of lead in drinking water system components. The law requires a lead reduction from the currently allowable 8.0 percent in pipe and fittings to a new 0.25 percent weighted average when used with respect to the wetteLeadRulingd surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, and plumbing fixtures. Solder and flux cannot contain more the 0.2 percent lead, which remains the same as current regulations.

This act does not apply to pipe, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, or other fixtures, including backflow preventers, that are exclusively for nonpotable services. Toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are two inches in diameter or larger are also excluded.

What does this mean for drinking water systems?

Drinking water systems need to go through their inventory of fittings and supplies and document what they have in stock. Water systems have until January 4, 2014, to use any old inventory. After this date, systems will not be able to use most fittings and fixtures that exceed the new standards for potable water distribution and supply.

Any drinking water systems preparing for a major upgrade prior to 2014 will want to make sure the fittings and fixtures are compliant with the new law.

"With respect to what it means for water systems, the answer is likely 'not that much,'" says Craig Mains, engineering scientist with the National Environmental Services Center. “It’s worthwhile to note that the Act is not a case of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pushing the nation toward a more restrictive standard. It is more of a case of EPA bringing the federal lead standard into conformance with those of states that have already opted for a more restrictive lead standard."

California passed a more restrictive law in 2006 with the same standards as those now being prescribed by EPA. Vermont followed with new standards that mirrored those in California. Both states' standards went into effect on January 1, 2010. Maryland has also passed a similar law that goes into effect on January 1, 2012.

To ensure that drinking water system components met the California lead content standards, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) developed a new standard, ANSI-NSF 372 – Drinking Water System Components, Lead Content, published in late 2010. Because manufacturers of water system components find it uneconomical to manufacture items meeting two different standards and because of the existing state standards it is expected that most manufacturers will be in conformance with the federal standards well before January 2014. Water system managers should look for and use components that meet the ANSI-NSF 372 standard.

For more information, visit the Underwriters Laboratories website at:

http://www.ul.com/global/documents/offerings/perspectives/regulators/environmental/
UL_Lead%20Levels%20DrinkingWater%20SystemComponents.pdf

Call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 if you have specific questions about the Lead and Copper Rule.

Posted September 8, 2011



Being Green in College

GreenInCollege

Simple Steps Students Can Take to Help the Environment

The Labor Day weekend is a time when many students head off to college. And college is the perfect time to develop (or hone) environmentally friendly habits.

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) has just published an article about this being green in college. Written by Alexandra Ries, a NESC student intern for the fall semester and a graduating senior at West Virginia University, the article has several steps that college students--or anyone, for that matter--can take for the environment.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Posted August 31, 2011


Protect Your Ground Water Day

ProtectGroundwaterDay
Everyone can and should do something to protect groundwater. Why? Because we all have a stake in maintaining groundwater quality and quantity. With this in mind, the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has created "Protect Your Ground Water Day"”

For starters, 95 percent of all available freshwater comes from aquifers underground. Being a good steward of groundwater just makes sense. Not only that, most surface water bodies are connected to groundwater so how you impact groundwater matters. Furthermore, many public water systems draw all or part of their supply from groundwater, so protecting the resource protects the public water supply and lowers treatment costs.

But, groundwater and source water protection isn't just a job for the professionals. "Every person can do something to protect groundwater in their local area--from not polluting it to using water wisely," says Cliff Treyens, NGWA director of public awareness. "This day is intended to give every person an action step he or she can take."

If you own a well to provide water for your family, farm, or business, groundwater protection is doubly important. As a well owner, you are the manager of your own water system. Protecting groundwater will help reduce risks to your water supply.

Learn more about groundwater by visiting the NGWA website at www.ngwa.org. More information about Protect Your Ground Water Day may be found at www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/groundwater-day/Pages/default.aspx.

Posted August 15, 2011


Website About Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution

Over the last 50 years, the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution entering U.S. waters has escalated dramatically, and is becoming one of the nation's costliest and most challenging environmental problems. In many parts of the country, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution negatively impacts human health, aquatic ecosystems, the economy, and people's quality of life.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a website about nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to provide the public with information about this type of pollution--where it comes from, its impacts on human health and aquatic ecosystems, and actions that people can take to help reduce it.

The website also includes updated information on states' progress in developing numeric water quality criteria for nutrients as part of their water quality standards regulations. To facilitate state and local efforts to reduce nutrient pollution, EPA is releasing a new Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool. The goal of the tool is to support states in their nitrogen and phosphorus analyses by providing the most current data available about: the extent and magnitude of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution; water quality problems related to this pollution; and potential pollution sources in a format that is readily-accessible and easy-to-use.

With this comprehensive data, EPA, the states, and other stakeholders will be able to more quickly gather additional, less-accessible data and develop effective source reduction strategies for nitrogen and phosphorus.

Learn more by visiting the website at: www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/

Posted August 5, 2011


RDUS Loan Rates

Interest rates for Rural Development Utilities Service (RDUS) water and wastewater loans—issued at three different levels: the poverty line rate, the intermediate rate, and the market rate—have been announced. The rate applied to a particular project depends on community income and the type of project being funded.

RDUS map

To qualify for the poverty line rate, two criteria must be met. First, the loan must primarily be used for facilities required to meet health and sanitary standards. Second, the median household income of the area being served must be below 80 percent of the state's non-metropolitan median income or fall below the federal poverty level. For 2011, the federal poverty level is $22,350 for a family of four.

To qualify for the intermediate rate, the service area's median household income cannot exceed 100 percent of the state's non-metropolitan median income.

The market rate is applied to projects that don't qualify for either the poverty or intermediate rates. The market rate is based on the average of the Bond Buyer index.

The rates, which apply to all loans approved on or before May 23, 2011 are:

poverty line: 2.50 percent;
intermediate: 3.375 percent; and
market: 4.25 percent.

Rates approved after May 23, 2011 are:

poverty line: 4.25 percent;
intermediate: 4.375 percent; and
market: 4.50 percent.

RDUS loans are administered through state Rural Development offices, which can provide specific information concerning RDUS loan requirements and applications procedures.

For the phone number of your state Rural Development office, contact the National Environmental Services Center at (800) 624-8301 or (304) 293-4191. The list is also available on the Rural Development Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html.

Posted August 3, 2011


New Guides Help Explain Technical Aspects of Water and Wastewater Systems

The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) has produced two new guidebooks that explain to non-technical audiences in everyday language the technical aspects of drinking water and wastewater systems.

A Drop of Knowledge: The Non-operator's Guide to Drinking Water Systems and A Drop of Knowledge: The Non-operator's Guide to Wastewater Systems were written for people who have a role or interest in their community's water systems but not the technical knowledge or skills of a system operator. The guides are ideal for board members of utilities in small communities, elected leaders with oversight of a water system, or any decision-maker who is involved in a water system. Designed to be used separately or together as companion pieces, the guides can be used as an orientation to new leaders or as background for long-time leaders.

RCAPGuidesThe premise of the guides is that informed leaders make better decisions. Most leaders of small-community water systems do not come to their positions, either as elected officials or as concerned residents, with the technical knowledge of a certified water operator. In addition, in most small-community water systems, leaders are at least one step removed from the tasks that their system's operator carries out daily. Leaders are expected to oversee all of the activities that go on in a system, and these guides provide an overview of the technical aspects so that informed decisions can be made on the maintenance or development of the physical parts of a system.

In addition to explaining the technical, biological or chemical processes that happen in treating drinking water or wastewater, the guides include many diagrams and photographs that show common parts of a water system. The key sections of the guides walk readers through the steps of producing drinking water from source to tap and of treating wastewater from a home through discharge.

Both guides were written on behalf of RCAP by the National Environmental Services Center at West Virginia University, a longtime partner of RCAP. The guidebooks are being funded as part of a $5 million grant of ARRA funds secured by RCAP and furnished by the U.S. Department of Agriculture--Rural Development.

Copies of both guides are available as PDFs on the RCAP website at www.rcap.org/commpubs.

Posted July 7, 2011


Water We Drink Website Has New Articles
The Water We Drink: Small Community Outreach Campaign, which offers information about maintaining safe, sustainable, and secure water supplies in small and rural communities, has added two new articles to its website.
The website, located at www.nesc.wvu.edu/waterwedrink, is a joint effort by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and the National Environmental Services Center (NESC), located at West Virginia University, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Articles addressing planning ahead to improve water and wastewater services and planning for capital improvements are now available to complement previous articles on topics such as source water protection, setting water and sewer rates, pharmaceuticals and personal care products in our waters, impending labor shortages, water and energy, and aging infrastructure. The articles are written especially for those who oversee local water and wastewater services, and may be downloaded at no charge and used for educational purposes, such as reprinting in newsletters and magazines, training sessions, and websites.

According to RCAP's Director of Training and Technical Services Joy Barrett, Ph.D., the unifying message in each of the articles is that local leadership is essential in protecting water resources and maintaining water and wastewater services, and that there are practical options for ensuring a system’s short- and long-term viability. The two planning articles just posted discuss strategies for developing long-term and capital improvement plans that can help a system improve its financial condition, operations, and sustainability.

The website also offers a brochure, a PowerPoint presentation and instructor's guide, and fact sheets about keeping pharmaceuticals and personal care products out of our waterways. Two additional articles will be posted later this summer addressing financial accounting for small water systems and protecting drinking water sources from the impacts of natural gas hydraulic fracturing and other potentially detrimental activities.

The Water We Drink project strives to raise awareness about crucial water issues and solutions, and invites everyone to use the articles and resources to support or complement state and local efforts.

Learn more by going to www.nesc.wvu.edu/waterwedrink/. Contact Sandra Fallon by calling (800) 624-8301, ext. 5582, or e-mailing sfallon@mail.wvu.edu.  

Posted June 23, 2011


New Issue of Pipeline Available Online

The simple words "with septic" can spell trouble for someone trying to sell their home and be intimidating for a prospective buyer. If you are selling a house that uses a septic system for its wastewater treatment, or you are thinking of buying a house that uses such a system, there are things both parties need to know to make the transaction go smoothly.

The latest issue of thPLLateste National Environmental Services Center (NESC) newsletter Pipeline--available online at
www.nesc.wvu.edu/pipeline.cfm
--takes a look at buying and selling homes with septic systems.

These "onsite" systems, if properly designed and installed, and adequately maintained, can be extremely efficient and the presence of a septic system on the property should not dissuade you from purchasing the home. On the other hand, if you have always been on a municipal sewer service, this Pipeline provides an overview of things you need to know about onsite wastewater treatment.

Formerly printed and mailed to nearly 26,000 subscribers, Pipeline is now available in an online format only. Previous editions of the newsletter--also available on the NESC website--cover a variety of topics explaining onsite wastewater issues to homeowners and community members.

Posted June 1, 2011


New Issue of On Tap Available Online

OnTapLatestA new issue of our drinking water magazine, On Tap, is now available on the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) website at www.nesc.wvu.edu/ontap.cfm. Formerly printed and mailed to more than 27,000 subscribers, On Tap is now available in an online format only.

The spring/summer issue features an interesting variety of articles including a look at understanding human behavior as a way to encourage water conservation, some advice about water testing for private well owners, an overview of source water protection plans, and a "how to" for flushing distribution lines. Please note a new Tech Brief covering water efficiency and conservation is available here.

Posted March 31, 2011


NESC Has Free Public Service Announcements PSAs Aid Water Quality Efforts

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) has three video public service announcements (PSAs) about the importance of septic system maintenance for community water quality. The PSAs reflect NES'‚Äö√Ñ√¥s ongoing commitment to effective wastewater treatment and source water protection, and are available for communities and watershed groups to use for free.  

Presented in a humorous light, each video drives home the message that homeowners are responsible for safe guarding our drinking water through proper septic tank operation and maintenance. 

One group who has used the PSAs successfully is the Michigan Septic Tank Association (MSTA). "During 2009, our association purchased television airtime that blanketed Michigan with the three NESC public service announcements, modified to add our association's logo and web address at the end," says Mark N. Scott, Chair of MSTA's Continuing Education Committee. 

"The spring 2009 public service campaign was a success, so our Board approved $8,000 for a similar campaign in the spring of 2010," Scott continues, "and we plan to do it again this year."

NESC encourages communities to use these brief PSAs as part of a public awareness campaign to protect source water. View and download the videos by going to www.nesc.wvu.edu/subpages/psa.cfm

Posted March 9, 2011


NESC Hosts Environmental Leaders From Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan and West Virginia may be 6,000 miles apart but, as community leaders from the former Soviet Republic and WVU's National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) environmental experts learned, the two places have much in common, thanks to a collaboration arranged by the university, GlobalPittsburgh, and the Library of Congress.

On March 2nd, officials from Kazakhstan traveled to the NRCCE to discuss water quality issues and the redevelopment of former industrial sites with staff of the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) and the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NWVBAC). The Kazakhstani team was participating in the Library of Congress' Open World Leadership Center program and came to WVU to discuss rural and small community environmental issues.

"Water and wastewater infrastructure and community engagement in local water and environmental issues is a high priority for Kasakhstan," said Gerald Iwan, Ph.D., NESC executive director. "Refreshingly, operation and maintenance are recognized components of their water infrastructure projects, something often neglected here in the U.S. International, global informational exchange such as this broadens perspectives, and validates an integrated approach to addressing worldwide environmental concerns."

"The opportunity to learn about the challenges Kazakhstan is facing really opened my eyes to how abandoned industrial sites universally impact the environmental and community development in a negative way," said Patrick Kirby, NWVBAC program director. "As Kazakhstan rebuilds after years of Soviet rule, it's inspiring to see that they are trying to incorporate sustainability and be environmentally conscious in their plans. If they can learn from experiences we've had with similar situations, that would be an invaluable outcome."KazakhstanGroup

Participants from Kazakhstan included Mr. Bolat Dalabayevich Beldebekov, deputy mayor of Tekeli; Ms. Aliya Altayevna Sadvokasova, a land use expert with the Ministry of Environmental Protection; Ms. Yekaterina Georgiyevna Strikeleva, a water program manager with the Central Asian Regional Environmental Center; Ms. Asel Sagyndykovna Tokzhanova, a natural resources inspector with the Ministry of Environmental Protection; and Ms. Nazgul Yesmukhanovna Zhabasova, deputy director of Natural Resources and Nature Management in West Kazakhstan province. The five leaders were accompanied by a facilitator, Ms. Natalia Polchencko, who is also an elementary school teacher.

Coordinated through WVU's Office of International Students and Scholars, the Kazakhstanis are the most recent international visitors this academic year. Previous leaders have come to the NRCCE from Mongolia, Moldova, China, and Poland.

Photographs of the visit are available on the NESC website at www.nesc.wvu.edu. Learn more about GlobalPittsburgh by visiting their website at www.globalpittsburgh.org.

Posted March 9, 2011


National Ground Water Awareness Week
March 6 through 12, 2011

Groundwater is important to every person, and there is something every person can do to be a good groundwater steward: That’s the core message of the 2011 National Ground Water Awareness Week March 6-12.

Taking just a step or two to protect groundwater can make a big difference. For example, how you store, use, and dispose of hazardous household substances can affect groundwater quality. In the same manner, whether you regularly maintain your water well or septic system, or properly decommission an abandoned well can impact the groundwater that serves as someone’s water supply. In addition to privately owned wells, many public water systems use groundwater.

AWLogoFor those in water scarce areas, a big part of groundwater protection is using groundwater wisely and not wasting it.

Water wells can provide an excellent supply of good quality water. For generations they have been the only water source for millions of Americans. That’s why it’s important to learn more about how issues such as water well flooding, abandoned water wells, naturally occurring contamination, and poor well maintenance can impact groundwater quality.

The National Ground Water Association’s (NGWA) Ground Water Awareness Week website (www.ngwa.org/public/awarenessweek/index.aspx) provides action steps people can take for groundwater protection and groundwater conservation.

The public, particularly well owners, can learn more about groundwater stewardship at NGWA’s other website, www.wellowner.org. This site contains more useful information about groundwater protection as well as water testing and treatment.

Posted February 15, 2011


EPA Announces Regulation for Perchlorate

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced the agency’s decision to move forward with the development of a regulation for perchlorate to protect Americans from any potential health impacts, while also continuing to take steps to ensure the quality of the water they drink.

The decision to undertake a first-ever national standard for perchlorate reverses a decision made by the previous administration and comes after EPA scientists performed a thorough review of the emerging science of perchlorate. Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and man-made chemical, and scientific research indicates that it may impact the normal function of the thyroid, which produces important developmental hormones. Thyroid hormones are critical to the normal development and growth of fetuses, infants and children.EPAPerchlorate

Based on this potential concern, EPA will move forward with proposing a formal rule. This process will include receiving input from key stakeholders as well as submitting any formal rule to a public comment process.

In a separate action, the agency also moved toward establishing a drinking water standard to address a group of up to 16 toxic chemicals that may pose risks to human health. This group of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals such as industrial solvents, includes trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, as well as other regulated and some unregulated contaminants that are discharged from industrial operations.

Learn more about EPA’s perchlorate proposal by going to:
http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/unregulated/perchlorate.cfm

More information about the agency’s drinking water strategy may be found at:
http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/dwstrategy/index.cfm

Posted February 3, 2011


RDUS Loan Rates

Interest rates for Rural Development Utilities Service (RDUS) water and wastewater loans--issued quarterly at three different levels: the poverty line rate, the intermediate rate, and the market rate--have been announced. The rate applied to a particular project depends on community income and the type of project being funded.

To qualify for the poverty line rate, two criteria must be met. First, the loan must primarily be used for facilities required to meet health and sanitary standards. Second, the median household income of the area being served must be below 80 percent of the state's non-metropolitan median income or fall below the federal poverty level. As of May 31, 2010, the federal poverty level was $22,050 for a family of four.
.
To qualify for the intermediate rate, the service area’s median household income cannot exceed 100 percent of the state's non-metropolitan median income.
RUSMap
The market rate is applied to projects that don't qualify for either the poverty or intermediate rates. The market rate is based on the average of the Bond Buyer index.

The rates, which apply to all loans issued from January 1 through March 31, 2011, are:

poverty line: 2.5 percent;
intermediate: 3.375 percent; and
market: 4.25 percent.

RDUS loans are administered through state Rural Development offices, which can provide specific information concerning RDUS loan requirements and applications procedures.

For the phone number of your state Rural Development office, contact the National Environmental Services Center at (800) 624-8301 or (304) 293-4191. The list is also available on the Rural Development Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html.

Posted February 2, 2011


NESC Updates Product Services
Shopping Cart Allows Free Downloads

The National EnvironmenShopping Carttal Services Center (NESC) has developed an online shopping cart allowing our customers to download free PDFs of selected products. More than 400 products are currently available, including case studies, design manuals, and NESC's popular Tech Briefs. View the shopping cart by going to www.nesc.wvu.edu/ecommerce/ "While the cart is in its infancy, the products available will be expanding regularly," says Jeanne Allen, NESC's business manager. "By summer 2011, we expect to offer all NESC productsin this fashion. I encourage you to visit our website where you can shop for your water and wastewater informational needs." NESC currently maintains more than 1,000 free and low-cost products related to small community water and wastewater issues.

Posted January 19, 2011