Saturday, 25 May 2024

REGIONAL: Area tribes receive Recovery Act funds to Improve water services

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – Seven tribes in California will have improved access to vital water services through funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Indian Health Service (IHS) on Wednesday announced $90 million nationwide in “shovel ready” infrastructure projects designed to better protect human and environmental health in Indian Country.


“On tribal lands, 10 percent of homes lack access to safe drinking water compared to less than one percent of non-native homes. Together with the Indian Health Service, EPA is using Recovery Act funds to provide much-needed support for water and wastewater systems in Indian Country,” said Laura Yoshii, acting regional administrator for the U.S. EPA in the Pacific Southwest.


Yoshii said the funding creates jobs for tribal members, addresses critical infrastructure needs and will increase access to drinking water and basic sanitation services.


“By 2010, over 4,400 tribal homes in the Pacific Southwest are expected to receive piped drinking water or basic sanitation services for the first time,” she said.


The tribes receiving funds include the following:


  • Tule River Indian Reservation will receive $6,371,470 to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant serving 268 homes;

  • Round Valley Indian Tribes will receive $474,380 to expand its wastewater treatment facility serving 132 homes;

  • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians will receive $316,770 for improvements to its wastewater treatment plant serving 32 homes;

  • Grindstone Indian Rancheria of Wintun-Wailaki Indians of California will receive $205,310 to upgrade sewer connections serving 10 homes;

  • Redding Rancheria will receive $180,070 to expand sewer connections serving 13 homes;

  • Quechan Tribe will receive $340,630 to upgrade sewer lines serving 15 homes;

  • Campo Band of Kumeyaay Indians will receive $753,100 for drinking water treatment serving 29 homes.


Continuing a tradition spanning 20 years, EPA and IHS’s combined effort to improve water services in Indian Country contributed to their identification of 95 wastewater and 64 drinking water priority projects to be completed by IHS’s Sanitation Facilities Construction Program through EPA Recovery Act funds.


The projects exceed the Recovery Act requirement that 20 percent of the funds be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally innovative projects.


President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Feb. 17 and has directed that the recovery act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To see how every dollar is being invested, visit www.recovery.gov .

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