Rural Community Assistance Partnership

Practical solutions for improving rural communities
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September 2011

National leaders call for renewed federal commitment to rural development as part of 2012 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — The Campaign for a Renewed Rural Development called on Congress Sept. 22 to include a strong and comprehensive Rural Development Title in the 2012 Farm Bill to create jobs and promote economic growth in rural America. The campaign, a diverse coalition of 32 national organizations, including RCAP, touching nearly every building block of the U.S. economy, released its legislative priorities to guide lawmakers as they begin work on writing the new Farm Bill.

EPA announces the Healthy Watersheds Initiative National Framework and Action Plan 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the release of the Healthy Watersheds Initiative (HWI) National Framework and Action Plan.

USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Tonsager promotes job creation partnerships with rural business leaders

AUSTIN, TEXAS (USDA) – USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager met with electric utility officials and business leaders from across the country Sept. 19 to promote ways USDA is working with them to create jobs and strengthen rural economies.

USDA updates information on conditions and trends in rural income, poverty and welfare

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has provided an update of conditions and trends in the areas of rural income, poverty, and welfare as of Sept. 17. ERS research in this area focuses on the economic, social, and demographic factors that affect the income and poverty status of rural residents and their participation in federal assistance programs, including food assistance programs.

The summary states:

EPA releases strategy to protect people’s health and the environment in communities overburdened by pollution

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the release of Plan EJ 2014, a three-year, comprehensive plan to advance environmental justice efforts in nine areas, including rulemaking, permitting, enforcement, and science.

EPA launches green products web portal for Pollution Prevention Week

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is observing Pollution Prevention (P2) Week (Sept. 19 to 25, 2011) by launching a new tool designed to provide Americans easy access to information about everyday products like home appliances, electronics and cleaning products that can save money, prevent pollution and protect people’s health. The new green products web portal is available at

Hurricane Irene claims lives of water utility employee

On August 28, 2011, during Hurricane Irene, the town of Rutland, Vt., lost a long-time employee and friend, Michael Garofano. Mike, along with his son, Michael, attempted to check water-utility intake pipes near the city's reservoir during the storm and were swept away by flood waters.

USDA highlights assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Irene

 WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today said USDA is ready to deploy personnel and resources to assist the efforts by federal, state and local authorities in response to Hurricane Irene. Yesterday, the Secretary joined Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for a tour of hurricane-impacted areas in North Carolina and Virginia.