Press Release

Congressman Cuellar, USDA to Announce $1.6 Million in Federal Funds for Bruni Arsenic-Removal Project

Webb County to contribute $400k by leveraging tax abatement, bringing total project investment to $2 million

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LAREDO, Texas, August 25, 2016 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639) | comments

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development - Texas State Director Paco Valentin and Texas Rep. Tracy O. King (D-80), along with representatives from Webb County and Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporation, announced today a $2 million project that will help remove levels of arsenic in the water supply in Bruni, Texas.

A $1.6 million check from Congressman Henry Cuellar’s office and USDA Rural Development is presented to Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporatoin Thursday to help remove levels of arsenic in the local water supply. Pictured from left to right are Gloria Reyes from USDA Rural Development; Priscilla Chapa, Oscar Chapa and President Alan Garza from Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporation; Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina; Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28); Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director; Rep. Tracy O. King (D-80); Elizabeth Garza and Roel Gomez from USDA Rural Development.

Currently, Bruni’s two operating wells, which are managed by Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporation, exceed the arsenic standard set by the Safe Drinking Water Act and are in violation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules governing levels of arsenic. Congressman Cuellar worked with federal and local officials to provide funding for this project.

The total funding of $1,617,000 million includes a $1,375,000 grant and a $242,000 loan from USDA Rural Development. Webb County will contribute $400,000 for planning and designing costs, bringing the total investment of the project to $2 million.

The project will include approximately 5,000 linear feet of four-inch water line and the construction of a micro-filtration facility that will include pumps, strainers and auxiliary equipment. As the project develops Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporation will submit piloting reports to TCEQ to demonstrate that the treatment technique will produce finished water that meets the Drinking Water Standards and Reporting Requirements for Public Water Systems.

“Everyone deserves clean and safe drinking water,” said Congressman Cuellar. “When I heard about this issue, we wasted no time in talking with Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporation, Webb County and USDA Rural Development to make sure we could provide funding to upgrade the wells. I thank USDA Rural Development State Director Paco Valentin, Webb County Commissioner Wawi Tijerina and Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina for their tremendous help in securing safe water for the residents of Bruni.”

Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director:
“Many of us take for granted easily accessible and safe drinking water in our home. The reality is that many rural communities, such as Bruni, struggle to provide quality potable water for their consumers. Rural Development is pleased to assist Bruni Rural Water Supply Corporation in making improvements to their existing water filtration system, ultimately allowing them to be in compliance with TCEQ and EPA regulations.”

Rosaura “Wawi” Tijerina, Webb County Commissioner, Precinct II:
“Improving the quality of life for Bruni residents has been one of my priorities in this area. I want to thank Congressman Henry Cuellar for his work to acquire this much needed funding. Thank you, as well, to USDA Rural Development and Texas USDA Director Paco Valentin for his support. For the first time in the history of this century-old community, the children can turn on the kitchen faucet and drink the water without anxiety or fear of contaminants. I will continue to work tirelessly to make this community and all of Webb County a better and safer place to live.”

Tano E. Tijerina, Webb County Judge:
“I want to thank everyone for their collaborative efforts in this much needed project. With the assistance of everyone we will continue to fortify our Bruni Water System to not only meet TCEQ standards but to provide safe drinking water for the constituents of the Bruni area.

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