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Upgrade to system will provide major boost to local economy, environment

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced a $12,093,000 package of grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a wastewater treatment project in Conway.  The award will fully fund the construction of a pipeline from Conway Village's wastewater plant to one in North Conway that has the capacity to take on additional treatment.

The village’s current wastewater facility is operating at capacity and uses outdated technology that does not treat the water it discharges into the Saco River for nitrogen and phosphorous, putting the river’s health at risk.  The state of New Hampshire has placed a moratorium on building permits in Conway Village due to a lack of adequate wastewater treatment capacity.

“In order for Conway’s economy to thrive, it must have the infrastructure to serve the thousands of tourists that flock to it each year for world-class outdoor recreation, and I’m pleased the Department of Agriculture has chosen Conway for this award,” Shaheen said.  “With the construction of the new pipeline supported by this award, Conway will be able to lift a building moratorium that has placed a stranglehold on its economy.  At the same time, the Saco River’s natural habitat will be protected, ensuring that it remains a popular tourist destination and important piece of the local economy.”

“The partnership among federal, state and local agencies and officials to secure funding for the Conway Village wastewater collection system is a tribute to the power of working together,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Molly Lambert.  “Through this project, in addition to improving water quality, we will promote recreation, tourism and economic opportunities that will add to the health and sustainability of this region for decades to come.”

“The interconnection of the two wastewater plants will be a tremendous boon to our local economy,” said Conway Town Manager Earl Sires.  “It will set the stage for future development and employment opportunities that have been hindered by aging infrastructure.”

Shaheen has been an ardent supporter of the Conway project.  She submitted letters of support to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack backing Conway’s application in both 2011 and 2012, and spoke directly with USDA officials to argue for the project’s importance.