SEATTLE (RPRN) 7/10/2009–Six Tribes in Washington will have improved access to vital water services through $3.9 million in 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 Serviceâ€™s Indian Health Service (IHS) are directing $90 million nationwide in â€˜shovel readyâ€™ infrastructure projects designed to better protect human and environmental health in Indian Country.
â€œThis infusion of funds is very important for our tribal communities,â€ said Michelle Pirzadeh, EPAâ€™s acting Regional Administrator in Seattle. â€œThis work is part of our commitment and trust responsibility to provide clean drinking water and healthy sanitation to tribal families.â€
Tribes receiving funds in Washington are the Lummi Tribe ($1,052,100); Upper Skagit Indian Tribe ($1,041,670); Tulalip Tribe ($756,300); Makah Indian Tribe ($677,080); Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation ($232,300); and the Swinomish Tribe ($165, 250).These funds will bring much needed drinking water and sanitation improvements for the Tribes. Many of these tribal households are in great need of modernized infrastructure to ensure clean drinking water and improved wastewater systems that are protective of peopleâ€™s health and the environment.
Continuing a tradition spanning 20 years, EPA and IHSâ€™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 IHSâ€™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 Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at recovery.gov.
More information about all the EPA Recovery Act water efforts: http://www.epa.gov/water/eparecovery/
Marie Jennings, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-1893, email@example.com; Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-7302, firstname.lastname@example.org